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Know thyself. 







Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by 

Sylvester Graham, 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 


The work which I now present to the public in a printed form, is 
the result of my observations, reflections, inquiries, investigations and 
researches for more than forty years; nearly a fourth part of which time, 
has been exclusively devoted to it with an assiduity which has almost 
wholly sacrificed my social enjoyments of life, and taxed my mind and 
body to a degree which has greatly impaired the vigor of my health, and 
probably in no small measure abbreviated the period of my earthly ex- 
istence. And yet I am very far from being satisfied with what I have 

done. I feel that if I could have ten years more of health and oppor- 
*unity, I could great'.y perfect the labors of the past ten years. In re- 

lrd to the great principles which I have advanced, and all the practical 

bearings of those principles, I feel the most entire confidence, and have 

wish for longer time to satisfy myself of their correctness; but I 

ink that with more time and labor, I could, in many respects, improve 

be method in which I have presented them, and give more strength to 
the argument and force to the illustration. 

My undertaking has, from the commencement of my career as a pub- 
lic lecturer, been a most difficult, as well as a most arduous one. I 
have endeavored, for nearly ten years past, by oral instruction, to bring 
to the comprehension and understanding of the popular and unlearned 
mind, one of the most abstruse and complicated subjects, within the 
range of the natural sciences. To do this with any degree of success, 
and to excite and keep up sufficient interest in the minds of those I 
wished to benefit, to make them willing to attend to such instructions, I 
have been compelled to exercise all the versatility of power and resource 
that I have been able to command. This of necessity, has obliged me 
to depart widely from that conciseness and simplicity of method which 
properly belong to scientific reasoning; and to be at times diffuse in 
manner, and redundant in illustration. And now, I am fully conscious 
that if learned men, of severely disciplined minds, do my work the 
honor to peruse it, they will find occasion to complain of the same evils 
in the printed form of my lectures. And my apology is that, I have 



still in view the same great class of people. If my design had been to 
prepare a work for the scientific reader only, I should have written it 
in very different style and method; but my desire is to carry my instruc- 
tion into every family, and to be understood by every individual of or- 
dinary capacities. And if I have not erred in judgment, I have not 
retained more diffuseness of style, nor copiousness of illustration, nor in- 
dulged more in repetition than the best adaptation of such a work to the 
popular mind requires.— My great object is to have the principles which 
I inculcate, clearly understood. And minds wholly unaccustomed to 
scientific investigations cannot readily apprehend the general principles 
of such a complicated subject without a fulness of explanation and illus- 
tration, approaching to redundancy. 

But it may be asked, if I intend my work for the unlearned reader, 
why I have not wholly refrained from the use of the technical tonus of 
scientific language, and expressed myself in terms that every one can 
readily understand? — This is a difficulty which I have fully appreciated; 
and at first, endeavored to avoid: — but I soon found that it would com- 
pel me to use great circumlocution and tedious repetition: and on fur- 
ther reflection, I was satisfied that it is best even for the unlearned read- 
er, that the technical terms should be retained, and so explained that 
he can understand them. Thus, when describing the nervous system, 
I at first gave a particular description of the trisplanchnic nerve, (§ 220.) 
without giving its scientific name; and in the course of one or two pages 
I was obliged to speak of that nerve again, and found myself under the 
necessity of repeating the whole description, for want of a name; and 
then the thought occurred to me, that however well my readers might 
become acquainted with the anatomy of the nervous system by studying 
my book, yet if they should take up any othpr work, in which the tris- 
planchnic nerve, or any other part of the human system was spoken of 
in the ordinary language of science, they would not be able to under- 
stand what parts were intended, any better than they would if they had 
never seen a description of the parts. If by any means therefore, we 
can make the unlearned reader acquainted with the meaning of these 
terms, we greatly benefit him; for we thereby, as it were, teach him 
the alphabet of science, and greatly increase and enrich the furniture of 
his mind; which always enlarges his understanding and facilitates his 
attainments in knowledge. With this conviction, I have retained the 
technical terms of science pertaining to my subject, and have endeavor- 
ed to enable every reader to understand them, by explanations in the 
text, and by continual references. Thus in § 313. I explain the mean- 
ing of the terms, organ, tissue, viscera, &c, and afterwards when I use 


these terms, I frequently refer back to this section. By these means, 
and by the help of a key or dictionary, attached to the second volume, 
containing all these terms with afull explanation of them, I hope every 
reader will soon be able to come to a clear and ready understanding of 

I have endeavored, as far as I could in such a work as this, to follow 
the plan of Euclid's Elements of Geometry: — that is, by referring con- 
tinually to previously ascertained principles, or established facts and con- 
clusions, whenever they are involved or illustrated or alluded to in any 
process of reasoning, I have made one part explain and corroborate anoth- 
er, and by this means, I have put it in the power of every individual of 
suitable age and ordinary intelligence, by a proper degree of application, 
to attain to a very clear and full understanding of my work, not only in its 
particular, practical bearings, but in its general system of principles as 
a science. — I hardly need remark however, that a work of this kind, 
cannot be read as an amusing novel, nor as an entertaining narrative or 
history; but it must be studied, attentively, and perhaps at first, with 
considerable labor, or few will be the wiser or the better for the time 
they devote to it. It is not possible that such a work as this, which has - 
required the intense mental labor of many years to produce it, can be I 
fully comprehended, from a single hasty perusal, even by a well disci- 
plined, and much improved mind; and still less, by minds destitute of 
scientific education and habits of close and connected thinking. 

It is perhaps, proper that I should explain in this place, a single point, 
in relation to my general subject, concerning which, there appears to 
have been much popular error of opinion. The idea has very frequent- 
ly been advanced, that my whole theory in relation to human diet, has 
been founded on the opinions of Pythagoras and others who have taught 
that man ought to subsist entirely on vegetable food. But nothing is 
farther from truth than this. I had, it is true, read of Pythagoras and 
others who subsisted on vegetable food; but the subject had never made 
the slightest impression on my mind; and nothing was more remote 
from my thoughts, when I commenced my labors as a public lecturer, 
than the idea that man ought to confine himself wholly to vegetable 
food. — From the natural turn of my mind, I had from childhood, been 
given very much to observations and reflections and inquiries concerning 
the anatomy and physiology of the human body; (§ 553.) but without 
any other object in view than the gratification of my thirst for knowledge, 
and particularly, knowledge of first principles, and the relation of cause 
and effect. Being very early in life convinced by observation, of the 
mischievous effects of intoxicating drinks, I began while yet a lad to 


remonstrate with my companions and others against the use of them. 
This led me not only to apply what physiological knowledge I possess- 
ed, but also, to improve that knowledge continually, in order to convince 
others of the correctness of myopinions. In June, 1S30, I was pre- 
vailed on to become the general agent of the Pennsylvania Slate Socie- 
ty, for the suppression of the use of Ardent Spirit. But with my mental 
constitution, it was impossible for me, to be satisfied with mere decla- 
mation against drunkenness. I wished to give my hearers the reasons 
why they should not use intoxicating drinks. This led me to apply my 
mind more exclusively and diligently than ever to the study of human 
physiology, and finally to animal and vegetable physiology in general: 
but without proposing to myself any conclusion to which I would arrive; 
or even dreaming whither my pursuits would lead me. I was an honest 
and sincere inquirer after truth; and willing to receive its teachings and 
follow where it led without waiting to see how it would affect my inter- 
ests or my habits. In this manner I was led on, from step to step, in my 
purely physiological investigations, and was as much surprised at the 
discoveries which I made, as any have been at the conclusions to which 
I arrived. 

Having served the Pennsylvania Temperance Society about six months 
I resigned my agency, without any idea of continuing my labors as a 
public lecturer. Soon after my resignation however, I was persuaded 
to give a course of my lectures on human physiology, diet and general 
regimen, at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia; and before I had 
completed this course, I received an urgent invitation from New York, 
to visit that city, and deliver my lectures there. In New York, I re- 
ceived pressing invitations from every quarter; and thus, most unex- 
pectedly to me, have I been kept industriously employed in this great 
field of labor, till the present time: — and my public lecturing, though 
extremely arduous, has, by no means been the severest part of my la- 
bor. Almost every hour of my life, during the whole time not neces- 
sarily appropriated to the wants of my nature — including many hours 
that others devote to sleep — I have employed in the most intense men- 
tal application to the great subject which has occupied my attention. 

My theory in relation to the diet of man therefore, has neither been 
founded on, nor suggested by the opinions of others who have tau«ht 
that vegetable food is the proper aliment of the human species; but my 
eye has been continually fixed on the living body,— observing its vital 
phenomena, studying its vital properties and powers, and ascertaining 
its physiological laws: and wholly without the consciousness that any 
human being had ever advanced the idea that man should confine him- 


self to vegetable food; — and wholly without the purpose in my mind, of 
establishing such a position! But I was unexpectedly and irresistibly 
brought to such a conclusion, purely by my physiological investigations. 
Yet when I had thus arrived at this conclusion, and began to look about 
me, and survey the history of man, I soon discerned that there were 
not wanting facts, in the experience of the human family, to corroborate 
the conclusion to which I had been brought by my physiological inves- 
tigations: — and when I came to advance my opinions on the subject, in 
public, immediately, on every hand, statements, and facts and testimo- 
nies began to flow in upon me in abundance. Every one who heard 
me and who had ever read or heard of any thing which corresponded 
with my views, kindly communicated it to me. In this manner, I have 
come in possession of nearly all the facts and authorities which I have 
employed in the illustration or corroboration of my principles; but in no 
case, have the principles been drawn from these facts and authorities. 
And it is but just that I should add, that many of the authors which I 
have cited, I have not read, but have been indebted to the kindness of 
friends, who have read them for me, and furnished me with such ex- 
tracts, as they thought would be serviceable to me. In short, I must 
frankly acknowledge that I have had much less to do with books than 
with living bodies, in all my physiological investigations. I shall not 
therefore be surprised if men of general reading find that many opinions 
which I have advanced as peculiar to myself, have been advanced by 
others, with whom I am unacquainted: — for my mind has ever been 
much more given to observation and reflection than to reading, and 
hence my knowledge of books is very limited. 

On the subject of anatomy, my attention has been more directed to 
the nervous system, than to other parts of the body; and therefore, 
though I have attended much to dissection and general anatomy, yet 
in preparing my work for the press, I have frequently felt the want 
of a more familiar acquaintance with the minute anatomy of particular 
parts, which I had before regarded as of comparatively little importance 
to physiology, but which I considered necessary in my printed work in 
order to render it complete. I am therefore, not entirely certain of 
being perfectly accurate in every minute point of anatomy, but I trust 
that I have in no case made any great mistake ; and I am confident that 
I have made no mistake on any important point. 

In regard to Phrenology, I have perhaps said enough in the body of 
my work, (§ 532. et seq.) but I wish the zealous advocates of that 
theory, distinctly to understand that I entertain no hostile feelings 
towards it. I have aimed not to misrepresent it; and if I have fallen 


into any mistakes in regard to it, I shall be glad to be corrected; and am 
ready to embrace it as fully and as warmly as any of them, when I 
can be as fully convinced of its truth and importance as many of them 
appear to be. But at present, I must honestly confess I have doubts on 
some points; albeit I am not far from a full conviction that, in the true 
science of intellectual and moral physiology, the brain is to be regarded 
as an assemblage of special organs, according to the views of Dr. Gall. 
(§601. 639. 1236.) 

Concerning the natural element or elements of matter, (§ 47. et seq.) 
its properties and laws, and the production of the various forms of 
material things, I suppose I shall be considered sufficiently visionary, 
by some; but it will be seen that I am not wholly alone in the specula- 
tion; although I supposed myself to be alone in it, for several years 
after I embraced the notion, and have, from time to time, been not a 
little gratified to find myself sustained in it, by such high authorities as 
I have since met with. (§ 74. et &eq.) But, whatever may be true in 
regard to the number of the natural elements, the great physiological 
and psychological principles which I have advanced, (§ 522. et seq.) 
are, I am confident, irrefragably true: and these are all that I wish to 
insist on, in relation to the nature and properties of matter. (§105. 106.) 

In presenting my lectures to the public, at this time, in a printed 
form, I feel it my right and duty to remark that, it would be very 
unjust in the public to date their existence from this period. — It must 
be remembered that I have been repeating these lectures in public for 
nearly ten years. — When I began these public labors, the subject of 
human physiology, — so far as I am informed, had not been named 
nor thought of, by any other person, as a matter of popular know- 
ledge and general education: but since that time, it has been continually 
becoming more and more a subject of public interest: — and now, physi- 
ology and physical education are common topics of conversation, in 
almost every circle. — I do not mean to imply however that my labors 
alone have produced all this effect. — Since I have been in the field, 
several works have appeared both in England and America which have 
embraced different portions of the same great subject. — These have 
undoubtedly had much influence on the public, and contributed to pro- 
duce the present state of things. — There is one work, however, which 
I believe, was published, in England or Scotland, before I commenced 
my public lectures, and which has probably done more than any other 
one, to excite a popular interest on the subject of physical education: — 
but I speak of it only from report, as I have never read it, and know 
nothing of its merits, except from the testimony of others. I allude to the 


" Constitution of Man" by Mr. George Combe. The first time I ever 
heard of this work was in the summer of 1833: when I was accused of 
having borrowed my views from it. This induced me to form a reso- 
lution never to look at it till my own lectures had passed through the 
press. I have adhered to that resolution, and can therefore only say, 
if there are views in my lectures corresponding with those advanced by 
Mr. Combe in that or any other work, we have both hit on them 
without any indebtedness to each other. — Indeed, I have seen but few 
of the works which have appeared since I commenced my public labors, 
in relation to the general subject embraced by my lectures, and those 
which I have seen, I have been able only to glance at hastily. — Aber- 
crombie's writings I am wholly unacquainted with: — and in fact, it is 
nearly twenty years since I have read any work on intellectual and 
moral philosophy. 

While therefore, I have gathered all along my course such facts and 
testimonies, in illustration and corroboration of my views, as my numer- 
ous friends have kindly placed within my reach, or selected for me, 
yet all the principles and the main body of my lectures, which now first 
appear in print, have a just claim to at least as early a date as 1832. 

In the progress of my labors however, I have been much indebted 
to many professional and scientific gentlemen, of our own country, for 
numerous advantages and facilities which have been greatly servicea- 
ble to me; and were it proper, I would gladly name several gentlemen 
of the Medical Profession in Philadelphia, New York, Boston and other 
places, whose many civilities and favors deserve and receive my sin- 
cere acknowledgments, in this place. It has ever been a cause of deep 
regret to me, that there has been so extensive a misunderstanding on 
the part of many members of the Medical Profession, in regard to the 
character and tendency of my labors. And now I can only assure 
them that I entertain the highest respect for the Profession. — It is cer- 
tain that without a well-educated Medical Profession, of high moral 
tone, society cannot prosper; and it is equally certain that, such a Pro- 
fession will be most accurately estimated where society is most intelli- 
gent in regard to the proper qualifications of such a Profession, and 
therefore, the most certain means of destroying every species of medi- 
cal empiricism and imposture, and of securing the highest confidence 
hi a responsible Profession, is to enlighten the people in the knowledge 
of the laws of life and health. 

In all my public labors I have carried with me a deep and solemn 
sense of responsibility, which has at times almost overwhelmed me! 
most conscientiously have I desired, and sought to find out the truth, 


for the truth's sake, and to promulgate it for the good of man. — With 
that same deep and solemn sense of responsibility, and that same con 
scientious purpose of soul, I now present this printed work to the pub- 
lic. If I believed it to contain any mischievous error, God knows I would 
not send it abroad, to do evil in the world. Yet I am but a human be- 
ing, and with all my sincerity of purpose, and untiring diligence to as- 
certain the truth, it is possible I may have fallen into some mistakes; 
and this consideration has led me to refuse to have the first edition of 
this work stereotyped, because I wished to have the opportunity to 
correct any errors that might be pointed out: and therefore, I now sin- 
cerely and earnestly entreat all medical gentlemen and others, for the 
sake of truth and humanity, to examine this work critically, and to ex- 
pose every error they may discover in it. If they attack it with ridicule 
and vituperation, I shall have no confidence in their honesty, but will 
nevertheless endeavor to be benefited even by their abuse: — 'but if, in 
a manner which evinces an honest disposition to serve the cause of 
truth and humanity, they point out its errors or its blemishes, I shall 
gladly and gratefully receive their corrections, and apply them to the 
improvement of my work. 

Many good people have entertained the idea that the dietetic doctrines 
of my lectures, are contrary to the Sacred Scriptures ; and that the pro- 
mulgation of them is unfriendly to religion. The fears and prejudices 
of such people, however ill founded, are to be regarded with respect, 
seeing that they spring from those elements in the mental and moral con- 
stitution of human nature, which, when properly exercised, lead to the 
just regulations of society, and on which the correctness and stability of 
all good institutions among men, depend. I wish therefore, to assure 
such people and all others, that I have not been unmindful of these 
things; but have thoroughly examined them. It was not suitable that 
I should include the results of my investigations on these points in such 
a work as this; but I have another work nearly prepared for the press, 
in which I have entered extensively and fully into a careful examination 
of every point of relation between my lectures and the Holy Scriptures. 
It is my purpose to present that work to the public as soon as possible: 
and I trust it will wholly satisfy every honest and conscientious mind] 
that there is the most entire harmony between the Sacred Scriptures^ 
and the dietetic and other principles taught in this work. 

Northampton, February, 1839. 



Man's relation to the world— The true mode of studying the philosophy 
of man— General ignorance in regard to all the constitutional laws 
and relatious of human nature— The causes of this ignorance — The 
means of removing it, &c. 13 35 


The nature, origin, primordial forms and properties of matter— The 
various forms of mailer in the inorganic world — their origin — their 
laws of constitution and relation, &c. 37 64 


The relation of organic bodies to the inorganic world— The origin of 
hvmg bodies — The properties and powers peculiar to living bodies 
and common to all organized bodies, vegetable and animal — The 
properties and powers peculiar to animal bodies. 66 85 


The several materials composing the human body — The three "eneral 
tissues of the body — their nature and properties — and their general 
distribution in the construction of the body. 85 115 


The nervous system of the human body — The nerves of organic life 

their anatomy and physiology — their distribution to the several 
organs — their relation to the general functions of the vital economy 
— The cerebro-spinal system of nerves — its anatomy — physiology, 
& c - 116—157 


The anatomy of the brain — connexions between the nerves of organic 
life and the cerebro-spinal system — The physiological relations be- 


tween these two systems — their reciprocal sympathies, &c. Sym- 
pathies between the body and the mind, &c. 158 Uo 


The particular anatomy of the several organs and parts of the human 
body — and their general arrangement, and design in the system, 
&c. 196—285 


The physiology of the human body — or the particular functions of all 
the organs of the system, in the production of all the effects and phe- 
nomena of life — such as digestion, secretion, absorption, circulation, 
nutrition, respiration, &c. 285 — 352 


The nature of the human soul — Its relation to the brain— 'The diver- 
sities of human character — Phrenology — Intellectual Physiology — 
Mental sanity and insanity — Causes of Insanity, &c. 353 — 416 


Moral physiology — The moral powers of man — Their relation to his 
organic and animal nature, wants, instincts, depravities, &c. — The 
nature and powers of the conscience — On what its correctness and 
incorrectness depend, &c. 417 — 447 


The power of the human constitution in relation to the duration of 
life — Primitive longevity of man — By what means human life has 
been abbreviated — Present capabilities of the human constitution — 
By what means youthi'ulness is preserved, life prolonged and healthy 
and happy old age secured. 447 — 485 


Constitutional laws of relation between each and every organ, substance 
and property of the human body, and between each and all these 
and every external substance on which the human body depends 
and by which it is affected — Relations of the organs of special sense 
to the properties of external things — Relations of the organs of smell 
and taste to the respiratory and alimentary wants of man — Relations 
of the teeth to the nature and condition of food — of the skin and 
lungs to the atmosphere— of the stomach to the qualities of food— 
of the senses of hunger and thirst to the dietetic wants of the vital 
economy, &c. 486—562 



Man's relations to the world — True mode of studying the philosophy 
of man — Man's ignorance on the subject of life, health and disease — 
In regard to every thing else he will acknowledge first principles, 
fixed laws — He contends that every thing concerning life, health 
and disease is uncertain and contingent — This ignorance of the laws 
of life, &c, accounted for — Disease leads to the study of remedies 
rather than causes — The essence of life unknown — How its laws are 
ascertained — Extensiveness and comprehensiveness of the science — 
Requires the most serious and persevering application of the mind. 

§ 1. Man is the soul of the world — the intellectual 
and moral sensorium of nature. 

He is not, indeed, the creating Cause of things, nor 
is he the efficient Energy by which the various operations 
of nature are carried on. — He does not sustain the sun in 
his bright sphere, nor cause the light and heat to come 
down upon us as an all-pervading spirit. — He does not 
wheel the planets in dieir eternal rounds, — nor roll the 
earth upon her axis, — nor urge the moon along her silent 
way. — Nor does he heave the ocean's tides, nor pour 
the streams and rivers from their fountains, nor direct 
their currents in their winding paths. — He does not 

14 Graham's lectures on the 

clothe the earth with vegetation, nor embellish it wit 1 
verdure, and the various hues and tints and forms ot 
beauty— nor fill it with rich fragrance and delicious 
fruits.— Nor does he quicken this magnificent theatre of 
being with the numberless forms and modes of animal 
existence.— Yet, but for man, to what great intellectual 
and moral end would all these things exist? 

§ 2. The grazing ox might crop the grass, and, for all 
the purposes of his nature, instinctively discriminate the 
odors of the earth, and slake his thirst in the clear 
stream; and, when the summer's heat became oppressive 
to him, he might seek the cool shade of the forest; and, 
in his ruminating moments, he might raise his head, and 
on his uninquiring eye the sun or moon, or the far distant 
star, might pour its light:- but neither the herbage nor 
the fragrance nor the varied hues of the vegetable king- 
dom, nor the beautiful freshness of the morning, nor the 
noontide splendor, nor the soothing silence of the summer 
twilight, nor the magnificence of the nocturnal firmament, 
nor aught of creation's loveliness or sublimity, would 
awaken in him the deep musing of philosophic thought, 
or moral feeling, or reflection. 

§ 3. Not so with man! He opens his percipient facul- 
ties on the surrounding world, and light with its variety 
of hues and visual properties of external things, and the 
various odors of the earth, and all harmonious and dis- 
cordant sounds, and the qualities of taste and touch, rush 
in and make their impressions upon his intellectual and 
moral sensibilities, and awaken there the elements and 
energies of mind and moral feeling. And thus all sub- 
stances and qualities and things surrounding man become 
to him the great alphabet of knowledge. The numerous 
properties which inform his senses, seem to come in 
as with intelligence to inspire his intellectual operations 


and to constitute a part of his own mind; — and he throws 
out his thoughts and feelings over all things and associates 
and sympathizes with them, till he becomes, as it were, 
a part of them, and they of him, and until he learns to 
arrange these various elements into systems and elaborates 
from them the profound truths and principles of science! 

§ 4. The beautiful, the harmonious, the sublime, asso- 
ciated with external things, are but the inward sentiments 
of his own soul, awakened by those things and breathed 
out upon them, till they become, to his imagination and 
his feelings, invested as with an intelligent and sympa- 
thizing spirit, which holds communion with him in his 
various moods of mirth and melancholy and poetic musing 
and solemn meditation. 

§ 5. The mountains and the valleys and the streams, — 
the deep forests and the spreading lawns, — the ocean's 
foaming beach, the craggy cliff, the thundering cataract, 
and all other things in nature, are endowed by him with 
their peculiar genii, and become, as it were, the talis- 
manic keys which awaken their appropriate tones and 
melodies and strains within his breast. And thus he 
grows in knowledge and wisdom, and in moral character, 
and erects an immortality of thought; and makes all 
material substances and forms and qualities inservient to 

§ 6. He lifts his eye to the heavens and beholds the 
sun and moon and myriads of stars, whose light descends 
upon him like an informing spirit; and he diligently con- 
templates them till he learns to weigh them in his balance 
and measure their dimensions and their far-sweeping 
orbits; and ascertains their laws and their relations; — and 
finds the universe to be a vast fraternity of material 
forms, — and feels himself to be the percipient and 
intelligent centre of material things, — gathering their 

16 graha.m's lectures on the 

influences and converting them to mind, which he exerts 
upon them, and by which he investigates their nature, 
qualities, laws, relations, purposes and ultimate designs. 

§ 7. Thus man becomes a part of the vast world in 
which he lives, and every thing becomes a part of him; 
and hence it may with propriety be said that man is the 
soul of the world. — Nor is he only thus intellectually and 
morally associated with material things : — his wonderfully 
constructed body, — the organic tenement and engine 
of his mind, partakes in its elements of their com- 
mon nature, and is subject to those common laws of 
matter which bind all forms together in inseparable 

j 8. Whatever, therefore, may be the interest con- 
nected with material things, man is the centre of that 
interest; — and consequently man, in his nature and facul- 
ties, and capabilities and condition, and in his relations 
to the world in which he exists, is one of the most 
interesting and important subjects which the human mind 
has power and compass to investigate. 

§ 9. But it is a profound and complicated subject. 
An attempt to study living man either as a subject of 
intellectual, moral, religious, political, physiological or 
pathological science, singly, without a just regard to his 
peculiar nature and constitution and condition, — the laws 
of relation, under which he exists, — the reciprocities and 
mutual dependencies of mind and body, and the various 
influences which act upon him, as a material, organic, 
animal, intellectual and moral being, would almost neces- 
sarily result in error. And for this very reason the 
world has ever been filled with controversies and disputes 
concerning man as a subject of intellectual, moral, reli- 
gious and political philosophy. Volumes without number 
have been written on these topics, of a strange mixture 


of truth and error, mainly because the investigations and 
discussions have been conducted on partial and improper 
grounds. Nor have they who have studied man as a 
subject of natural history or of physiology and pathology 
wholly avoided the same sources of error and absurdity. 

§ 10. If we would know the true philosophy of the 
human mind, it is not enough that we, as metaphysicians, 
study man's intellectual faculties and capacities and laws; 
but we must ascertain how far the mind is connected 
with the body, — to what extent it is affected by the con- 
ditions of the body; and then, again, on what depend 
those conditions of the body which affect the mind. In 
order to this, the body itself must be understood in its 
animal and organic nature, and its physical and vital 
properties and laws, — in its physiological actions and 
pathological affections. And this investigation will dis- 
close to us a multitude of relations between human organic 
life, and the animal, vegetable and inorganic world around 
us; — relations which not only greatly affect the body, 
but, in the present state of being, modify mind and mor- 
als and religion to an extent which cannot safely be dis- 

§11. So likewise, if we would correctly understand 
the science of physiology or pathology, we must take 
into view, and thoroughly investigate, the whole nature 
and condition and relations of man. — He who treats of 
the functions of the human organs, and the diseases of the 
human body, without fully and accurately considering the 
modifying influences of the mind, and of the various 
physical and moral circumstances acting on the healthy 
and on the morbid sensibilities and sympathies of the 
system, may indeed form a theory which will have its 
day of popular acceptance; but fortunate" without a par- 
allel will it be, if it does not, sooner or later, prove to 

18 Graham's lectures on the 

possess sufficient error to sink it into utter disrepute, 11 
not into total oblivion. 

§12. There is probably no subject which the mind 
of man has ever- contemplated, concerning which more 
extensive and enormous error prevails, than in regard to 
human life and health and disease; and yet nearly every 
person seems to think that there is a kind of intuitive 
knowledge possessed by all, which enables each one to 
understand his own constitution and what is good for him, 
better than another can teach him. 

In relation to almost every thing else in nature, man- 
kind are willing to acknowledge that there are fixed prin- 
ciples and permanent laws and established order and sys- 

§ 13. Tf we speak of the science of astronomy, and 
assert that Goclhas constructed the planetary system upon 
fixed principles and arranged the several bodies accord- 
ing to precise laws, — that the relative size, weight, 
nee, velocity, and every thing else in regard to the 
whole planetary system, are regulated and governed by the 
most exact and permanent laws, — every enlightened chris- 
tian and theist will readily admit the truth of the assertion. 

Or if we affirm that, in the creation of our globe, God 
ordained all things according to fixed principles, and that 
he has established unchanging laws which govern it in 
every respect, our affirmation will be promptly acceded 
to. Or if we speak of the science of chemistry, and 
declare that all the molecular combinations and arrange- 
ments of matter are according to fixed laws, and that these 
laws always govern every chemical action and result with 
the utmost precision, here again the truth of our declara- 
tion will be acknowledged. If also, we assert that God 
has constructed every mineral according to fixed princi- 
ple— that the formation of every crystal is governed by 


established laws, this too will be admitted. If we proceed 
yet farther, and affirm that, in the vegetable kingdom, from 
the smallest thing that has an individual existence, to the 
largest tree, all are constituted according to fixed laws; — 
that the life, growth, health, and every thing belonging to 
the nature and properties and powers of the vegetable, 
are governed by the permanent laws which the Creator 
has established and continually sustains, — the truth of what 
we affirm will still be unhesitatingly allowed. And finally, 
if ascending in the scale of creation, we advance to the 
animal kingdom, and assert that God has created every 
animal, and established all its properties and powers upon 
fixed principles; that even in the formation of the bones 
and muscles and nerves, and all the organs of the human 
body, with their mysterious and wonderful endowments — 
law and order and adaptation to special purposes and ends, 
prevail and govern every thing, — even here the truth of 
what we predicate will be admitted. 

§ 14. Thus, from the nice adjustments and balancing 
of revolving worlds, to the structure and operation of the 
organs of the smallest insect, and the simplest vegetable — 
and even to the arrangement of the particles of matter in 
the formation of minerals; and all the combinations of the 
elements of nature by which the various forms and prop- 
erties of matter are produced; — throughout the whole 
immensity of created things — mankind will readily admit 
that an intelligent and wise and benevolent Creator has 
established law; and that by virtue of the laws which he 
has established and continues to sustain, the forms and 
properties and powers of all material things are what they 
are. — All, except the atheist, will frankly acknowledge 
that it is befitting a God of infinite intelligence and wis- 
dom and goodness, that all the works of his hands should 
be established in order and harmonious system, and gov- 

20 graham's lectures on the 

erned by precise and unchanging laws. — And even be who 
denies the existence of a God, is forward to confess that 
eternal and unvarying laws reign in and over every thing; 
and that, by the energy of those laws of nature, all the 
forms and conditions of matter were produced, and are 
preserved. — Yet, strange to tell! when all these ac- 
knowledgments are made concerning the laws which 
govern the material universe and all material forms, — 
if we turn to the higher order of Gods works, in which 
he has associated with organized matter, in human nature, 
organic vitality and animal consciousness, and sensibility 
and voluntary motion and intellectual and moral powers, 
and affirm that human life and health, and thought and 
feeling are governed by laws as precise and fixed and 
immutable as those which hold the planets in their orbits, 
and cause all portions of each globe, to press towards its 
centre, and point the trembling needle to the pole, and 
govern all the molecular aggregations and combinations and 
arrangements of matter in the inorganic and organic world, 
— mankind will, almost universally, without a pause for 
thought, deny the truth of the affirmation, and contend 
that human life and health and disease are matters of entire 
uncertainty, governed by no laws, and subject only to 
the arbitrary control of God; or the blind necessity of 
fate; or the utter contingency of accident. They do not 
believe that there are any fixed laws of life, by the proper 
observance of which, man can, with any certainty, avoid 
disease and preserve health, and prolong his bodily exist- 
ence; — and they are confident that the experience of 
the human family in all ages has fully and conclusively 
demonstrated the correctness of their views. 

§15. In the same circumstances and habits of life, 
they affirm, one enjoys good health and another is fre- 
quently or continually diseased, — one dies early, and 


another reaches an advanced period of life, while people 
of very different, and even opposite circumstances and 
habits, experience the same uncertainties and share the 
same fate; — some enjoying health, and others being afflic- 
ted with disease; — some finding an early grave, and some 
attaining to old age; — and in all circumstances and habits, 
the vigorous aud robust often die suddenly in the opening 
of manhood or the very prime of life, while the feeble 
and the sickly frequently drag out a protracted and mis- 
erable existence. Survey, say they, the extended map 
of the earth, and we find the inhabitants of one portion 
feeding on the putrescent carcasses of dead animals, — 
others on noisome vermin and reptiles, — others, on a 
mixture of animal and vegetable substance, — others, on 
vegetables exclusively, and others, allaying their hunger, 
and to some extent supplying the alimentary wants of their 
nature, with unctuous earths. — Some indulging freely in 
the use of tobacco, — others in opium, — others in arrack, — 
others in rum, or some of the numerous forms of alcoholic 
liquor; and yet, with these differences of dietetic habits, 
and all the difference of climate from the equator to the 
poles, we find, it is said, among all the different tribes 
and portions of the human family, about an equal share of 
health and disease, — premature death and extended life. 
And, while the Esquimaux feasts with gustatory satisfac- 
tion and delight on his carrion flesh, and derives from it 
the most healthful and invigorating sustenance to his body, 
— the Hindoo, with equal gustatory enjoyment and health, 
makes his repast on his dish of rice; — yet, if the diet of 
these two be exchanged, and the Esquimaux be fed on 
the rice and the Hindoo on the flesh, both will be dis- 
gusted and both will be made sick. 

§1G. Thus, we are told, it is completely demonstrated 
by the experience of all nations and all ages, that human 

22 graham's lectures on the 

life and health and disease are matters either of absolute 
fatality or perfect contingency; and that, in regard to 
them, there is no fixed philosophical relation between 
cause and effect; — and therefore, the life, health, disease, 
and diet of man, cannot be governed by fixed laws, nor 
made matters of .systematic science. 

§ 17. This reasoning, at first view, appears forcible 
and conclusive; but when thoroughly examined it proves 
to be entirely fallacious: — and the more deeply and exten- 
sively we push our investigations on this subject, the more 
fully are we convinced that human life, health, disease, 
diet, and general regimen are matters of as pure and 
nearly as exact science as mathematics. — -Indeed, human 
physiology, in the full sense of the term, is far the most 
profound and important science that has ever occupied 
the attention of man; — and in order to the most perfect 
understanding of it, a knowledge of all other sciences is 
requisite. — In fact, it may almost be said that this sci- 
ence consists of the sum of all other sciences systema- 
tized into one; — and the only reasons why the notions 
of mankind are so vague and erroneous on this subject are 
that they never study it as a science; — and most or all of 
their opinions are the results of feeling, or what they mis- 
call experience, rather than of deep reasoning and philo- 
sophical investigation. Nor is it surprising that it should 
be so, when the nature of man as a rational animal, and 
the circumstances in which he is placed and the influences 
which act on his natural and moral susceptibilities, are 
accurately considered. 

§ 18. In the rude state of nature, the wants of man are 
few and simple—If hungry, he plucks the fruit from the 
bough of the tree, or gathers some nutritious substance 
from the earth and satisfies his want. — If thirsty he 
stoops to the clear fountain or stream, — or with his hand, 


or with a folded vegetable leaf, lifts the pure beverage of 
nature to his lips, and answers the instinctive demand; — • 
or perhaps more naturally, he satisfies this want with the 
juices of succulent fruits. -^-If cold, he wraps his body in 
the skins of beasts;— if oppressed with heat, he retires to 
the cool shade of trees. — When the sun sinks below the 
western horizon, and the curtain of night gathers over 
him, he throws himself upon the bosom of the earth, 
or on some rudely prepared couch, and sleeps till the 
returning light rouses him, fresh and vigorous, from 
his slumbers: — or if he inhabits a portion of the globe 
where darkness prevails for months, he sleeps and wakes 
according to the instinctive demands of his nature. — The 
apparent revolutions of the sun — the waxing and the 
waning of the moon and the changes of the seasons, 
constitute his only chronometer. 

§ 19. In all this, it is manifest, that the rational powers 
of man are little employed in investigating the adaptation of 
his diet and habits to the laws of organic vitality. — Pos- 
sessed of the instincts common to all animals, he feelsh'is 
wants, and by the feeling, is prompted like other animals 
to satisfy them;---and, in doing this, he is governed by 
those instinctive powers of smell and taste, which enable 
him with utmost accuracy to discriminate between escu- 
lent and poisonous substances. And, if reasoning powers 
of a higher order than those which are exercised by other 
animals, are employed by him, it is in devising the means 
by which his supplies are procured, rather than in ascer- 
taining the fitness of those supplies to the real constitutional 
wants of his nature. 

§ 20. As man gradually becomes removed from the 
simplest state of nature, by the artificial habits and cir- 
cumstances of society, he finds it first convenient and then 
necessary to possess those rude utensils — the earliest spe- 

24 Graham's lectures on the 

cimens of human art — with which he prepares his food, 
and dips his water from the brook, and fits his clothing for 
his body. — No sooner are these things considered neces- 
sary, then the supply of them becomes of nearly as 
much importance as food and drink and clothing. This, 
in time, leads individuals to devote themselves wholly to 
the manufacture of such articles as the wants of society 
demand : and this leads to an increase of skill and 
knowledge in the manufacturing art, and a consequent 
improvement of the things manufactured : and this 
reacts upon society, and accelerates its progress towards 
what are called the refinements of civic life: and this, 
again, while it continually multiplies the artificial wants 
of man, increases the necessity for the supply of those 
wonts: and the final result is that, the artificial wants of 
man become so numerous and so imperious that a large 
proportion of the time and powers of every member of so- 
ciety are employed in supplying them: and, in the pro- 
gress of the development of this state of things, the several 
arts and sciences of civic life are originated and matured. 
§21. Thus, from the simple instinct of thirst, or na- 
tural want of water, has grown the invention or discovery 
and manufacture of the numerous beverages or kinds of 
liquor drank by man, and of the boundless variety of 
cups, glasses and vessels of every description, employed 
in containing water, tea, coffee, wine and all other kinds 
of alcoholic and other liquors used as human drink. — 
And out of the simple instinct of hunger has grown all 
the devices and arts concerned in producing, procuring 
and preparing food, and the invention and manufacture 
of all culinary utensils; and all the dishes, tables and 
other articles used in cooking, holding and serving up the 
aliment of man. And out of the want of clothing, which 
was at first supplied by a light tissue of leaves or by the 


skins of beasts, has grown the manufacture of the inter- 
minable variety of articles made of wool, flax, silk, cot- 
ton, fur, &c. &c. 

§ 22. In the progress of these arts and operations, 
one want has created another, and caused a continual 
demand for the closest and most constant application of 
the mental powers of man to the investigation of the 
physical, mechanical and chemical properties of things, — 
and with reference to forces, motions, numbers, quan- 
tities, time, distance, &c. &c, till mathematics, astrono- 
my, chemistry, and all other human sciences have been 
slowly developed and matured and become themselves, 
some of the most important wants of society. 

§ 23. But it is obvious that, in this general progress 
of things, by which new wants are continually and rapidly 
generated and multiplied, there is little to lead the mind 
of man to study the laws of human life, or to examine the 
dietetic and other habits of civic life with reference to 
health and disease. 

§ 24. The artizan who manufactured the first rude 
cup or goblet, probably never gave a thought to the 
question whether water or some other liquid is best 
adapted to the natural wants of man; and since him, the 
thousands who have been employed in the same line of 
art, have seldom, if ever, been led by their occupation to 
inquire whether wine, tea, coffee and other alcoholic and 
narcotic beverages are adapted to the real wants of the 
human body, or are consistent with the laws of life and 
health. On the contrary, the very employment and cir- 
cumstances of every artizan, require the constant applica- 
tion of his mental powers to the principles and operations 
of his art, in order to his immediate success as an artizan, 
and to his ultimate pecuniary success as a member of 
society. The wants of civic life are so numerous, and 

26 graham's lectures on the 

constitute so important a part of the very texture oi 
social and domestic life, that every man finds nearly his 
whole time and attention taken up in supplying them. 

§ 25. It is true, that disease multiplies in society in 
proportion as man removes from a pure state of nature, 
and becomes more and more an artificial being in his 
habits and circumstances:* — and this leads to the study 
of the healing art, — and ultimately to the study of anato- 
my and physiology. But, even here, the general ten- 
dency of things is far less favorable to the accurate and 
profound study of the science of human life, than is 
generally supposed. 

§26. Disease always precedes the physician: — and 
the sick are only concerned to know how they can obtain 
the most speedy relief from their sufferings. The ques- 
tion with them, and with their friends, is not, how they 
came by their sickness, or by what violations of the laws 
of life it has been induced, — but by what remedies they 
can remove the disease and restore health. 

§ 27. The domestic therapeutics of the earliest stages 
of society is generally extremely simple: — and is per- 
haps, governed at first, by the morbid cravings of the 
patient, — by accident, and finally, by experience. If by 
any means the disease is removed, the remedies and meas- 
ures employed are carefully remembered, and used again, 
when similar cases occur: — and in this manner, every 
tribe, and almost every family soon acquire their system of 
pharmacy and their theory and practice of medicine. 

*By " a pure state of nature," let it be understood, once for all, that 
I never mean the savage state; for T consider the savage state, in many 
respects, very far from the truly natural state of man, and therefore I 
distinguish between the rude state of nature (§18) and the pure state 
of nature. By the latter, I always mean that state in which the con- 
dition, circumstances and habits of man are in strict and full accord- 
ance with the constitutional laws of his nature. (§ 774.) 


§28. As society advances and diseases become more 
numerous and frequent, it follows as a necessary result, 
from the consequent order of things, that individuals be- 
come devoted to the study of remedies, and to the care 
of the sick; — and thus, physicians originate. The office 
is, perhaps, more frequently at first, confined to the 
priesthood, who employ with their simple remedies, an 
abundance of superstitious juggling- and incantation and 
exorcism. In time, however, some master spirit like 
Hippocrates, rises up, and digests the chaos of crude 
elements, into something like order and system. But it 
is obvious that, from the first rude origin of these elements 
to their systematic arrangement, every thing is done sim- 
ply with a view to care the disease, and without any 
regard to its cause: — and, indeed, the disease itself is 
generally considered as the direct and vindictive infliction 
of some benevolent or malevolent, supernatural being or 
beings: — and therefore, in all the progress of the healing 
art thus far, not a step is taken towards investigating the 
laws of life and ■health, and the philosophy of disease. 

§ 29. Nor, after medicine had received a more syste- 
matic form from the plastic hand of Hippocrates, did it 
lead its votaries to those researches which were most 
essential to its success, and which its great importance to 
society demanded : — but like religion and every thing else 
in the hands of man, it became blended with the grossest 
superstitions, errors and absurdities. Hence, from the 
earliest traditions of Egypt, until comparatively modern 
times, the history of medicine, with very limited excep- 
tions, is a tissue of ignorance and folly — error and absurdi- 
ty; and only serves to demonstrate the absence of that 
knowledge upon which alone, an enlightened and suc- 
cessful system of medicine can be founded; and to show 
to what extent a noble, and I might perhaps with pro- 

28 Graham's lectures on the 

priety say divine art, can be degraded, and perverted 
from its high capabilities of good, to almost unmixed evil, 
by the gross ignorance and sensuality and superstition and 
cupidity of man. 

§ 30. In ascertaining and defining the symptoms of 
disease, with reference to the application of remedies, 
some of the ancients, certainly did much for the healing 
art; and they undoubtedly made considerable attainments 
in the knowledge of anatomy and surgery. But we 
ought to know that all this may be done, with almost 
entire ignorance of the laws of life, and the true phi- 
losophy of disease. — Still, however, it must be admitted 
that, with all the disadvantages under which he labored 
in regard to physiological knowledge, the therapeutic 
views of Hippocrates were such as justly entitled him to 
be called " the Father of Medicine." 

§31. In modern times, anatomy and surgery have 
been carried perhaps, nearly to the top of perfection; and 
very great attainments have been made in physiology. — 
The science of human life has been studied with intense 
interest and remarkable success: — but this has been con- 
fined to the devoted few; while, even in our own day, 
and in the medical profession itself, the general and pow- 
erful tendency of things, is adverse to the increase and 
diffusion of scientific knowledge, in regard to human life, 
health and disease. 

§ 32. Intent, as all men are, on present enjoyment, 
they are little inclined to practise present self-denial for 
the sake of a future good, which they consider, in any 
possible degree contingent; and will only consent to bear 
the cross when compelled by necessity, or when they 
find it the only means of shunning imminent destruction; 
or of escaping from intolerable evils. Hence, so long 
as mankind are favored with even a moderate degree of 


health, they rush into the eagerly desired excitements of 
their various pursuits, and pleasures and indulgences: 
and nothing seems to them more visionary and ridiculous, 
than precepts, and regulations and admonitions concerning 
the preservation of health. — While they possess health, 
they will not believe that they are in any danger of losing 
it; — or if they are, — nothing in their habits or practices can 
have any effect, either in destroying or preserving it: 
nor can they be < onvinced of the universal delusion that, 
if they enjoy health, they have within themselves the 
constant demonstration, that, their habits and practices 
are conformable to the laws of health, at least, in their 
J)wn constitutions. They will not therefore, consent to 
be benefited, contrarily to what they regard as necessary 
to their present enjoyment, either by the experience or 
by the learning of others. 

§ 33. The consequence is — as a general fact — that, 
while in health, mankind prodigally waste the resources 
of their constitution, as if the energies of life were inex- 
haustible: — and when, by the violence or by the con- 
tinuance of their excesses, they have brought on acute or 
chronic disease, winch interrupts their pursuits and de- 
stroys their comforts, they fly to the physician, not to 
learn from him, by what violations of what laws of life 
and health, they have drawn the evil upon themselves, — 
and by what means they can in future, avoid the same, and 
similar difficulties; but, considering themselves as unfor- 
tunate beings, visited with afflictions which they have in 
no manner been concerned in causing, they require the 
exercise of the physician's skill in the application of 
remedies by which their sufferings may be alleviated and 
their disease removed. — And in doing this, the more the 
practice of the physician conforms to the appetites of the 

30 graham's lectures on the 

patient, the greater is his popularity, and the more cheer- 
fully and generously is he rewarded. 

§ 34. Every thing therefore, in the structure and op- 
erations of society, tends to confine the practising physi- 
cian to the department of therapeutics, and make him a 
mere curer of disease: — and the consequence is that, ex- 
cepting the few who are particularly favored by their situ- 
ation as public teachers, the medical fraternity, even of 
the present day, have little inducement, or opportunity, 
to apply themselves to the study of the science of human 
life, with that devotedness and zeal and perseverance, 
which the profoundness and intricacy of the subject re- 
quire; — while on the other hand, almost every thing by 
which men can be corrupted, is continually presented, to 
induce them to become the mere panders of human igno- 
rance and depravity and lust: — and if they do not sink 
their noble profession to the level of the vilest empyricism, 
it is owing to their own moral sensibility and philanthropy 
and love of virtue, and magnanimity, rather than to the 
discriminating encouragement which they receive from 
society, to pursue an elevated, scientific, professional 

§ 35. Thus, we see that, both the natural and acquired 
appetites, propensities and habits of man, and all the cir- 
cumstances of life which act on his natural and moral 
sensibilities, concur to divert his attention from the study 
of the science of human life, and fix it on present self- 
enjoyment, and on the pursuit of the means of supplying 
his natural and artificial wants. And hence, he is left to 
feel his way to, or gather from what he calls experience, 
most or all the conclusions which he embraces, in regard 
to the laws of life, health, and disease. 

§ 30. This source of knowledge is as utterly fallacious, 
as it is delusively specious; and the more deeply and exten- 


sively mankind are betrayed by it, the more totally blinded 
do they become to its treachery; and the more zealously 
and confidently do they contend for its validity. 

§ 37. Every one knotcs from his own feelings and expe- 
rience precisely what kind of constitution he has; and what 
agrees and what disagrees with it; — and every body knows 
exactly what agrees and what disagrees with his own 
stomach; — and is taught by his own experience, what 
is best for his constitution and his health and strength and 
comfort. — And surely, if a lady has the head-ache, she 
knows her own feelings better than any body else does : — 
and if she drinks a good strong cup of tea and the pain 
leaves her head, nobody ought to be guilty of so gross 
an insult to her understanding, as to attempt to convince 
her that, tea is a poison, and that, her use of it is a prin- 
cipal cause of her head-ache: — for she knows that she 
always feels better after drinking tea; and from fifteen or 
twenty years experience, she knows that, there is no better 
remedy for head-ache, than a good strong cup of tea: — 
for she has been subject to the head-ache for nearly 
twenty years, and the frequency and violence of the turns 
have gradually increased upon her from the first, till she 
is now obliged to give up all business, or pleasures, and 
take to her bed for the whole day, whenever she has a 
turn, which is certainly as often as once a week, and 
sometimes more frequent; and she has always found that, 
tea is " the sovereignest remedy in the world" for head- 
ache! — Who can reason against such facts as these? 
or have the temerity to advance a theory which contradicts 
the universal experience of the human race? It must be 
confessed that the enterprise is an arduous and a daring 
one; and is cheered by no encouraging prospect, except 
the possibility that mankind can be undeceived in regard 
to the validity of their feelings and their experience, as 
rules of life. 

32 graiiam's lectures on the 

§ 38. I do not however, wish to convince my fellow 
creatures that they have no feelings; — nor that they do 
not know when, and how much they feel : but I wish to 
convince them that, the kind and degree of their feeling, 
by no means, teach them what causes it, nor the princi- 
ples upon which its existence depends. — I am willing to 
concede to the lady, that, she knows best how her own 
head-ache feels; and that she knows it is relieved by a cup 
of tea. — But does she know either, the remote or imme- 
diate cause of her head-ache ? — Does she know the vital 
properties and powers and functional relations of the or- 
gans of her body ; and does she accurately understand the 
healthy and the diseased affections and sympathies of those 
organs? — Does she know the qualities of the tea in relation 
to the vital properties and functional powers of her sys- 
tem? — Does she know the direct and the ultimate effects 
of the tea on her system? — How it produces the pleas- 
urable feelings, and how it removes the pain of her head? 
— And does she know whether the very effects of the 
tea, by which the paroxysms of her head-ache are relieved, 
are not the principal source of her head-ache, and the 
main cause of the frequency and violence of the parox- 
ysms? — If not, what are her feelings and experience 
worth, to herself or others, as rules of life, by which she, 
or any one can judge of the fitness of her habits, to the 
laws of life and health? — I answer, not a farthing! — Nay, 
indeed! they are worse than nothing! mere delusions hy 
which we are decoyed from step to step along the spe- 
cious labyrinths of sensuality and suffering. And such, 
with rarely an individual exception, is the universal ex- 
perience of mankind! — I acknowledge that, they feel; and 
that they know whether their feelings are pleasurable or 
painful. — But do they know physiologically how, or why 
they feel; and understand the relation of their feelings to 


the powers and laws of vitality; — and to the condition 
and functions of the living organs? — I acknowledge that, 
by virtue of a vigorous constitution, many may live years, 
and some, even to what we call old age, in the enjoyment 
of ordh ary health, in spite of habitual violations of the 
laws of life and health. But does this constitute an experi- 
ence which proves the correctness of their habits? — or, at 
least, that those habits are not unfavorable to life and health, 
in certain constitutions? — Most evidently it does not! 

§ 39. It has been justly observed by a distinguished phi- 
losopher that, "men in their inductive reasonings deceive 
themselves continually, and think that they are reasoning 
from facts and experience, when, in reality, they are only 
reasoning from a mixture of truth and falsehood. The only 
end answered by facts so incorrectly apprehended, is that 
of making error more incorrigible. Nothing, indeed, is so 
hostile to the interests of truth, as facts incorrectly observ- 
ed."* And on no subject are men so liable to misap- 
prehend facts, and to mistake the relation between cause 
and effect, as on that of human life, health and disease. 
Without the most profound physiological and patho- 
logical knowledge and discrimination, it is not possible 
for them to avoid self-deception. They constantly mis- 
take the cavses of their feelings, and misunderstand the 
physiological and pathological character of the feelings 
themselves. — And, judging of the qualities of things by 
the feelings which they produce, — and without considering 
that even the most baneful substances may be made the 
causes of pleasurable stimulation to depraved organs, they 
inevitably confound good and evil, — their facts become 
falsehoods, — their inductions erroneous, — and their expe- 
rience, a tissue of error and absurdity, which serves only 
to mislead and to betray them. 

* IMaj fair's Analysis of Bacon's Novum Organuin. 

34 graham's lectures on the 

§ 40. Nothing is more certain therefore, than that, the 
only way by which mankind can attain to correct notions 
concerning human life, health, disease, regimen, &c.., 
is to apply their intellectual powers assiduously to the 
study of the subject as a science; and this will lead them, 
not as mere animals possessed of sensibility and con- 
sciousness, and the voluntary power of sensual indul- 
gence, but as rational beings, over a most extensive and 
interesting field of research and investigation. 

§ 41. Could we seize upon vitality itself, and ascertain 
its essence, we might, perhaps, be able to reason from its 
intrinsic properties and powers, to all conclusions neces- 
sary for our use, with a more limited extent of argument, 
and much less help from other sciences than we now find 
requisite. But we know nothing of the essence of life, 
and therefore we can only know T its peculiar properties 
and powers, and laws, by accurately ascertaining the 
character of its manifestations and effects in relation to 
the ordinary laws and properties of inorganic matter. 

§ 42. We perceive therefore, that the science of Hu- 
man Nature is most comprehensive as well as complicated 
and profound: — that it extends, not only over the whole 
man, embracing all his moral, intellectual, animal and 
organic properties, and reaching even to the vital forces 
and affinities, from the action of which, result the several 
arrangements, structures, tissues and organs of the body, 
but, in order to come at the truth on all these points, and 
ascertain how far the matter of the living body is subject 
to the common physical laws of the inorganic world- 
how far and in what manner the living body resists and 
overcomes those laws, and to what extent the vital econ- 
omy is affected, and life modified by the presence of 
chemical agents, the force of chemical affinities, and the 
power of physical laws, it necessarily goes still farther 


and investigates the properties and laws common to all 
matter; and endeavors, in its analytical progress, to 
arrive as nearly as possible at the primordial form and 
essential nature of matter itself; and thus prepares the 
way to ascertain the differences and distinctions between 
inorganic and- organic matter, and to find out the prop- 
erties and laws peculiar to all organized matter, or all 
living vegetable and animal bodies; and the differences 
and distinctions between vegetable and animal bodies, 
and the properties and laws peculiar to the latter; and 
in this way, finally brings us to the study of the particu- 
lar anatomy and physiology and psychology of man. 

§ 43. The subject is immense! yet it is, in all its de- 
tails, replete with interest to every human being. Man 
finds himself upon the theatre of life, full of susceptibili- 
ties, surrounded by innumerable influences, and acted on at 
every point; and he is continually conscious, not only of 
his existence and the action of surrounding influences, but 
of an unceasing desire for happiness. Has God implant- 
ed this desire as a fundamental principle of action, in 
our nature, merely to tantalize us in the vain pursuit of 
what has no reality? or is the desire itself, a living proof 
that, our benevolent Creator has fitted us for happiness 
— not only in a future state, but here — in soul and body; 
and adapted every thing within us and around us, to answer 
this desire, in the fulfilment of those laws of life and health 
and happiness which he, in wisdom and in goodness, has 
established in the constitutional nature of things? 

§ 44. Surely our heavenly Father cannot but prefer 
our happiness at every instant of our lives; and if we are 
not happy it cannot be because he has not endowed us 
with the capability of being so, and adapted earth and all 
terrestrial things to all that he has made us capable of 

36 Graham's lectures, etc. 

§ 45. Our disquietudes, and diseases, and untimely 
death must therefore spring, not from the fulfilment, but 
from the infraction of the laws of God; and it becomes 
us humbly, yet diligently to endeavor to ascertain those 
laws and to obey them and be happy; and thus fulfil the 
benevolent purposes of God, and glorify him in our spirits 
and our bodies, which are his. 

§ 46. It is impossible to attain to a full understanding 
of these things without a determined and persevering 
application of the mind; — and for the sake of knowledge 
so important, we must be willing to submit even to the 
drudgery of that application which at first, is made only 
with the hope of being rewarded when the task is mas- 
tered, and hidden things are brought to light by penetrat- 
ing diligence. 


The variety of material forms — Their origin — Apparent difference 
between organic and inorganic matter — Great variety of organic 
forms — Systematized into a few classes — Order and design in every 
thing — Organic and inorganic bodies resolved to the same elements — 
All things in the material world resolved to a few simple substances — 
Wonderful powers of vital chemistry in vegetable and animal bodies — 
AU kinds of aliment converted into the same organized substances — 
The various forms of matter composed of minute primordial atoms, 
the same in organic and inorganic bodies — differently arranged — 
Intimate relations between all material forms — What is matter ? — 
Moses' account of the creation! — St. Paul's explanation — A single 
element of matter — Opinions of Braconnot, Sir Humphrey Davy, Dr 
Herschel, Dr. Arnot, Sir J. F. W. Herschel, Dr. Prout and others — 
Original formation of things — The agency of an intelligent and omnip- 
otent Creator necessary — The intrinsic properties of matter could 
not produce the results of nature — No law nor property of matter 
known to be essential to it — We know no more of matter than of 
spirit — Original forms and primitive combinations of matter — Number 
of chemical elements — Water, how formed — Rocks — Earth, &c — 
The Neptunian and Plutonian theories of Geology — Natural elements 
few, or one — Essentially the same matter in all forms — Inorganic 
affinities could not produce organized bodies and life — Opposition 
of organic and inorganic affinities — Life not the result of organized 
matter, but the contrary — The inorganic world left to itself must 
have remained eternally so, without a blade of grass — The necessity 
for an intelligent and omnipotent Creator. 

§ 47. If, in our imagination, we assume some elevated 
stand, and contemplate the surface of our globe, we behold 
mountains and valleys, hills and plains, — bounded by 

38 graham's lectures on the 

oceans and intersected by rivers and streams, and clothed 
with vegetation, and swarming with a vast variety of ani- 
mals. Pleased with the interesting view, we are natu- 
rally led to inquire,— whence all this beautiful variety of 
things? Do they constitute but a part of an eternal suc- 
cession of material and living forms? — Or is this globe 
with "all that inhabits it," but the wreck or fragment 
of something more magnificent and vast? — Or are these 
things the blind result of chance? — Or, far retired behind 
these mighty works, is there a mightier Architect, whose 
power and wisdom and design, for some great purpose 
of benevolence, created and constructed every thing? — 
But, in vain we question nature in this general manner! 
No distinct and definite answer is afforded us. — If, with 
the spirit of philosophic inquiry, we descend from our 
elevated situation and general view, and approach to a 
nearer and more intimate inspection of the several parts, 
of the great scene before us, we behold the mineral and 
vegetable and animal kingdoms displayed around us in 
splendor and luxuriance and beauty and enjoyment. 
Profusion and variety and disorder seem, at first glance, 
to prevail throughout the whole. Between inorganic, 
and vegetable and animal matter, there appears to be not 
only a distinction of forms, but an essential difference 
even in the ultimate elements. 

§48. Turning our more particular attention to the 
organic world, it appears, at first view, as if nature had 
spontaneously thrown out an interminable variety of forms, 
without regard to order or design. But when we come to 
a more close and careful examination, we discover that 
the most perfect order pervades the whole, and that 
interminable as the variety at first appeared, all may be 
arranged into a few classes, each of which embraces 
but a limited number of species: — and the more rigor- 


ously we scrutinize the individual forms of things, in 
order to ascertain their peculiar structure and properties, 
and constitutional principles and laws, the more clearly 
we perceive order and design in every part, and perfect 
fitness and harmony reigning through all. At each ad- 
vancing step, we discern more and more distinctly on 
every part, the deep and indelible hand-writing of Cre- 
ative Intelligence, and Design and Goodness! — In every 
animal — in every vegetable form, God has stereotyped a 
living alphabet, by which we can spell out his power and 
wisdom and benevolence! 

§ 49. Not satisfied with these discoveries, we begin 
more boldly to demand of Nature the disclosure of her 
secret things, and in the crucible, and by other modes 
of analysis, compel her to divulge her most hidden prin- 
ciples. All living bodies, and the atmosphere and ocean 
and the earth, even to her inmost entrails, are explor- 
ed. The solid forms of matter melt beneath the fiery 
inquisition! The earths shrink into metallic bases! and 
these again, if still pursued with sufficient intensity of 
heat, vanish into thin vapor — apparent nothingness! And 
we are astonished to perceive that, essentially different 
as we supposed the animal and vegetable and inorganic 
substances which we subjected to our analytical ordeal, 
yet the results exhibit the same ultimate elements in all, 
or only differing in their proximate conditions. 

§ 50. Encouraged by our success, we eagerly urge 
onward our experiments, till we seem about to step upon 
the threshold of ultimate analysis; and arrive at the full 
conviction that, every fluid and every solid substance in 
the world — even the hardest minerals, may, with suffi- 
cient heat, be converted into thin air or gas! — and we 
learn that all things composing and inhabiting this globe 
of ours — organic and inorganic, may, by chemical anal- 

40 graham's lectures on the 

ysis even in the hands of man, be resolved into a few 
forms or substances, which in the present state of science 
we find convenient to call elements. 

§ 51. But the vital alchemy of the organic laboratory, 
leaves the chemist's crucible, and the more simple opera- 
tions of inorganic nature, far behind in its energy .of anal- 
ysis and in its creative aggregations and arrangements; 
and seems to possess the power not only of decomposing 
most, if not all of those substances which are called ele- 
ments, but also, of actually transmuting them into each 

§52. " The seeds of various plants," says a distin- 
guished chemist, "maybe placed in pure sea-sand, or 
even leaden shot, and nourished with nothing but pure dis- 
tilled water, and the common atmosphere, and the sun's 
light and heat, and the seeds will sprout and the plants 
grow and thrive, and attain to maturity, elaborating for 
themselves, out of the distilled water and the atmosphere, 
all their own nutriment, and properly arranging and com- 
posing the several vegetable structures and substances, 
and producing the several vegetable properties. And if 
this vegetable matter thus produced, be carefully pre- 
served and accurately analyzed, the various earths, the 
alkalies, acids, metals, carbon, sulphur, phosphorus, ni- 
trogen, &c. may be obtained the same, or nearly the 
same as if the plants had grown in their natural soil." 

§ 53. " It is well known," says Dr. Turner, in his 
Elements of Chemistry, "that many plants grow when 
merely suspended in the air. In the hot-houses of the 
botanical garden of Edinburgh, for example, there are 
two plants, species of the fig tree, the Ficus australis and 
the Ficus elastica, the latter of which, as Dr. Graham 
informs me, has been suspended for four, and the former, 
for nearly ten years, during which time, they have contin- 
ued to send out shoots and leaves." 


§ 54. " The Aerial Epidendrum, a beautiful plant of 
Java and of the East Indies beyond the Ganges," says 
an eminent physiologist, " has no roots nor any apparent 
organs of nutrition, but lives alone on air and the vapor 
of the atmosphere. It is said to be no uncommon thing 
for the inhabitants to pluck it up on account of the ele- 
gance of its leaves and the beauty of its flower, and the 
exquisite odor which it diffuses, and to suspend it by a 
silken cord from the ceiling of their rooms, where, from 
year to year, it continues to put forth new leaves, new 
blossoms and new fragrance, excited to new life and 
action only by light and heat and the surrounding atmos- 

§ 55. Here then, the atmosphere, with the assistance 
of light and heat, is converted, by the vital forces of the 
vegetable organic economy, into fluid and solid vegetable 
substance, color and fragrance; and if this vegetable 
matter be carefully analyzed, it will afford many of those 
substances, or forms of matter, which chemists now call 
elements, and which, no analysis that they are capable of 
making, has, as yet, been able to detect in the substances 
by which the plants were nourished. 

§ 56. If therefore, earths and alkalies and acids and 
metals and sulphur and phosphorus, and other equally 
simple substances, may be elaborated by the vital power 
of the vegetable economy from the oxygen and nitrogen 
and hydrogen and carbon of the common atmosphere, 
with what propriety can they be considered elements, or 
primordial forms of matter? 

§ 57. " The cerealia produce pure silex or flint, though 
not a particle of it is to be found in the soil in which they 
grew, nor in the fluid by which they are nourished. Plant 
in the same soil, the sugar cane, the aloe and the night- 
shade, — water them with distilled water, and let them grow 
4 # 

42 graham's lectures on the 

side by side, warmed and invigorated by tbe same beat and 
light and atmosphere, and the juice of the one will afford 
nutricious sugar — of another, the medicinal, intensely bit- 
ter aloes, and of the third, a substance with but little taste, 
but a deadly poison. From the sap of the peach tree, are 
produced the woody structure, the verdant foliage, the 
blossom with its beautiful tints and delightful fragrance, 
and the delicious fruit; while in the leaves and kernel, is 
formed a pungent bitter, and the prussic acid, which, in its 
concentrated state, is one of the most deadly poisons 
known. The may-apple or mandrake which grows wild 
in our woods, bears a fruit which is esculent and fine 
flavored when ripe, while its root is a purgative of about 
the same power as jalap and the leaf is actively poison- 

§ 58. " Thus, from the common sap," says Dr. Good, 
" which may itself be elaborated entirely from pure water 
and the atmosphere, with the help of light and heat, are 
secreted a variety of substances of different, and frequently 
of opposite powers and qualities:— substances nutritive, 
medicinal or destructive; and often in the same individual 
plant, some of its organs secrete a wholesome aliment 
while others secrete a deadly poison." 

§ 59. Nor is the vital economy of the animal system 
less wonderful in its analytic and synthetic powers. From 
all the varieties of aliment with which it is supplied, 
whatever may be the chemical properties of the food, it 
constantly, and with utmost integrity, during health, 
produces chyme, chyle and blood, of very nearly the same 
cheimcal character :— and whatever may be the kind of 
nourishment received into the stomach, in a healthy state 
of the system, the blood elaborated from it, regularly 
affords the appropriate supply of materials to every 
structure and substance of the body; whether the particu- 


lar properties or substances derived from an analysis of 
the several structures, be found in the aliment or not. 

§ 60. Neither in the chyle nor in the blood is any 
gelatin ever found, and yet the most extensive structure 
of the whole body is principally composed of this sub- 
stance; and the quantity of carbon eliminated by the 
human body, seems very greatly to exceed the quantity 
received into it in any appreciable manner. 

§ 61 . Moreover, the vital economy seems to possess the 
power of varying the quantity of particular qualities and 
substances produced by it, according to the condition 
and demands of the system, — periodically supplying from 
the common and ordinary current of blood, without any 
known variation in the food from which it is elaborated, 
a very large increase of appropriate nourishment, for 
particular structures, — and at the same time, regularly 
sustaining the general function of nutrition, in every part 
and substance of the system. 

§ 62. Whatever may be the kind or quality of the food 
from which it is elaborated, the blood of man will always 
afford, by chemical analysis, a considerable quantity of 
iron. Several other metals and other substances are also 
procured in the same manner, from the animal system, 
which it would be difficult, if not impossible, to account 
for in any other satisfactory way, than by admitting the 
power of the vital economy, to produce, from a nearly 
homogeneous chyle, various substances which in chemis- 
try, are considered not only opposite in their qualities, 
but of essentially different elements. 

§ 63. In the same animal, from the same vital current 
which nourishes the flesh, that would be perfectly safe 
and nutritious for human aliment, is secreted the most 
deadly poison. The flesh of the rattlesnake, is eaten 
by many people, as a great luxury: — and even its blood 

44 graham's lectures on the 

may be received into the human stomach or put upon a 
fresh wound with perfect safety, and yet, from the same 
blood, is secreted a poison, which if mingled with the 
blood of our systems, will, with almost irremediable cer- 
tainty, prove fatal in a very short time. 

§ 64. Besides these natural and ordinary operations of 
the vital economy of the animal system, it is no uncommon 
thing for protracted irritations, and diseased action to pro- 
duce results, totally different from those of the normal or 
healthy and regular functions of the organs; and the blood, 
which in the healthy condition and action of the parts, 
regularly supplies appropriate nourishment for the soft, 
solids, is made to yield the materials for the structure of 
bone: — and thus, ossification has taken place in the heart 
and other important organs, to an extent which has often 
proved fatal to life. 

§ 65. All the beautiful variety of things therefore, 
which we, at first, supposed essentially different, may be 
resolved by the keen scrutiny of analytical science, to a 
very few substances which are called elements, because 
they have hitherto withstood the utmost powers of analysis 
in the hands of man; — and yet, such have been the 
astonishing results of human investigations, that men of 
high and wonderful attainments in science, begin to tell 
us that, "it is scarcely possible to say what substances 
are not compound bodies:" — and still, as we have seen, 
the nicer alchemy of the organic laboratory, penetrates far 
beyond the reach of human science, and seems to have 
the power to decompose and combine and generate with 
almost a creative energy. — And the sacred Scriptures 
affirm that, " the time shall come when all these things 
shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent 

§66. If now we interrogate Nature in another mode, 


new revelations of her secret things, astonish and delight 
us : and from her disclosures and her intimations, we are led 
to the conjecture, and feel ourselves urged to the conclu- 
sion that, the various forms of matter, are composed of 
almost infinitely minute atoms; (§ 78, 79;) and that these 
little molecules are precisely the same, whether in ani- 
mal, vegetable or inorganic structure: — precisely the 
same, whether composing the animated flesh of man, — 
the beautiful and fragrant flower or delicious fruit of the 
vegetable,— or the hardest mineral, — or the most subtil 
and elastic air:— and that it is only the different arrange- 
ments or aggregations of these atoms, that constitute the 
difierent material substances and qualities and forms — 
organic and inorganic. Nor is it probable that, in the 
various transformations of matter, which are continually 
going on, the analysis that takes place in the processes of 
Nature, often approaches near to the primordial atoms; — ■ 
but molecules composed of myriads of those atoms, may 
be the ultimate forms in most of the ordinary changes of 
composition and decomposition in nature. 

§ 67. Thus, — of those forms of matter which in chem- 
istry are at present considered elements, difierent aggre- 
gations of the same molecules, make substances not only 
of entirely difierent natures, but of properties as different 
as those of aquafortis, and the balmy air which we breathe, 
-^of sugar and vinegar, — of charcoal and diamond- — And 
thus again, by differently arranging the same molecules 
of matter, red., orange, yellow, green, blue and other 
colors and tints are produced — and in like manner, are 
formed the most fragrant and the most offensive odors; 
and the different qualities of sweet and sour and bitter &c. 
And there are reasons for believing that, light and heat 
and electricity and magnetism, instead of being essentially 
different substances, are but the results of particular 

46 graham's lectures on the 

aggregations or arrangements and conditions of the same 
primary atoms of matter. 

§ 68. If these things he so, they reveal to us most 
intimate relations between all material forms and sub- 
stances, which hitherto, we have little thought of;— and 
we learn from them, our natural fellowship with earth and 
ocean and the atmosphere and every thing around us. 

§69. What, then, is matter? — and what was its pri- 
mordial form? — and what are its essential properties? 

Moses instructs us that, "In the beginning God created 
the heaven and the earth!" — And having made this gen- 
eral predication of his subject, — he commences a brief 
history of the creation, in detail; and declares that, pre- 
vious to the creation of the earth, it was " emptiness and 
nothing," — or had no perceptible existence: — for such 
is the radical and primitive sense of the Hebrew words 
in the original text; and such is the sense which the 
apostle Paul, who was a learned Hebrew scholar, gives 
them, when speaking of the same subject, in his epistle 
to the Hebrews. " Through faith," says he, "we un- 
derstand that the worlds were formed by the word of 
God; so that the things which are seen were not made 
of things which do appear." — The writer of the book of 
Job and the prophet Isaiah also use the same Hebrew 
words in this sense. 

§ 70. There is nothing in the Hebrew text, therefore, 
to justify the notion that our globe was formed out of a 
chaotic mass of matter, which might have been the wreck 
of some other planet, or of a comet, or fragment of the 
sun: but the true sense of the passage is nothing more 
nor less than that, before God created our globe,— this 
material world of ours had no perceptible existence— it 
was " emptiness and nothing." 

§ 71. The interesting question therefore still recurs;— 


What is matter? — which we see displayed around us, in 
such multitudinous forms of magnificence and beauty and 
life and activity and sensibility and passion and enjoy- 

§ 72. From the many interesting facts and considera- 
tions which have now been presented, and a multitude of 
others which may be observed by the philosophic inquirer, 
on every hand, are we not urged to the conclusion that all 
these material forms and substances and qualities, and 
things, which now compose our palpable universe, are but 
the different modifications, or arrangements, of the same 
primordial atoms which constitute the single element or 
essence of all matter? 

§ 73. It is true that, the demonstrations of human 
science, have not yet arrived at this grand conclusion; 
and it is possible that they never will: — but it is equally 
true that the glorious march of scientific discovery, seems 
continually approaching toward this great point; and that 
every advancing step of analytical demonstration, while it 
multiplies the proximate forms, draws apparently still 
nearer to the single element of matter. And it is an 
interesting fact that, many of the greatest minds which, in 
modern times, have been devoted to the pursuits of na- 
tural science, appear almost simultaneously, as if inspired 
by Nature's great Spirit of Truth, to perceive indications 
of such a final consummation of analysis, and to intimate 
their conjectures of a single element; or, at most, a very 

§ 74. "Oxygen and hydrogen with the assistance of 
solar light," says Braconnot, "appear to be the only 
elementary substances employed in the constitution of 
the whole universe: and Nature, in her simple progress, 
works the most infinitely diversified effects, by the 
slightest modifications, in the means she employs." 

48 Graham's lectures on the 

§ 75. "A very few elementary bodies indeed," says 
Sir Humphrey Davy, "and which may themselves, be 
only the different forms of some one and the same pri- 
mary material, constitute the sum total of our tangible 
universe of things." — And that distinguished philosopher, 
Dr. Herschel, has advanced the opinion, that "light is 
the source of all substances and the basis of all worlds." 
§ 76. " Whether those substances which, in the pres- 
ent state of science, are considered elements," says Dr. 
Arnot, " are in truth, originally and essentially different, 
or are only the one simple primordial matter, modified by 
circumstances, as yet unknown to us, we cannot at pres- 
ent positively determine." 

§ 77. In a truly able and exceedingly interesting pre- 
liminary discourse on the study of Natural Philosophy, 
by J. F. W. Herschel, Esq. the same important idea is 
fully advanced. " Philosophical chemistry," says Mr. 
Herschel, "no more aims at determining the one essential 
element, out of which all matter is formed — the one ulti- 
mate principle of the universe, than astronomy at discov- 
ering the origin of the planetary movements, in the 
application of a determinate projectile force in a deter- 
minate direction; or geology, at ascending to the creation 
of the earth. There may be such an element. 
Some singular relations which have been pointed out, in 
the atomic weights of bodies, seem to suggest to minds 
fond of speculation, that there is — but philosophical 
chemistry is content to wait for some striking fact, 
which may either occur unexpectedly, or be led to by 
the slow progress of enlarged views, to disclose to us its 

§ 78. " The discoveries of modern chemistry have 
gone far to establish the truth of an opinion entertained by 
some of the ancients, that the universe consists of dis- 


tinct, separate, indivisible atoms, (§ 66.) or individual 
beings, so minute as to escape our senses, except where 
united by millions, and by those aggregations making up 
bodies of the smallest visible bulk." 

§79. "What is proved concerning the atomic theo- 
ry," (§ 66.) says Mr. Whewell in his admirable treatise 
on Astronomy and general Physics, "is that, chemical 
and other effects take place as if they were the aggregate 
of the effects of certain particles of elements, — the 
proportions of which particles are fixed and definite." — 
And Dr. Prout, in his profoundly scientific treatise on 
Chemistry and Meteorology, says — " By element is here 
meant a principle that is not made up of others, and which 
consequently possesses an absolute and independent 
existence. Whether one or more such elements exists 
is not now our object to inquire. The astonishing dis- 
coveries of modern chemistry, have shown that many of 
those substances, formerly considered as elements, are 
in fact compounds: and, as the science of chemistry is 
still progressive, it is probable that with the enlargement 
of its boundaries, there will still be a further diminution of 
the number of those substances which are, as yet, held 
to be simple." — Indeed the general train of reasoning 
throughout the whole of this very learned and exceed- 
ingly interesting treatise, embraces the supposition of 
only one essential form of matter. 

§80. If therefore, any importance may justly be 
allowed to the opinions of those who are devoted to the 
pursuits of science, and who occupy eminent stations in 
the scientific world, we are here, by high authority, 
decidedly corroborated in the conclusion that the minute 
atoms of a single element constitute the primordial forms 
of matter,— by the various combinations, arrangements 
and aggregations of which, all the diversified and interest- 

56 graha.m's lectures on the 

ing forms of things in our material world are pro- 

§ 81. Having pursued our analytical inquiry concern- 
ing the nature and original form of matter, through the 
various researches of human science, and the still more 
discriminating and wonderful processes of the organic 
vital economy, till we have arrived, with the support of 
demonstration, apparently near to a single ultimate prin- 
ciple, with many known truths and manifest analogies 
leading to, and justifying the hypothesis of a single 
essence, or original element, — it now becomes necessary 
for us to travel down the deeply interesting course of 
synthetical arrangement, and conformation, till we have 
again returned to the present, existing forms and condi- 
tions of things, in order that, by such investigations, we 
may as clearly, and as fully as possible, ascertain the 
laws of constitution and relation, appertaining to the 
various forms of matter, and modes of being: and par- 
ticularly such, as are connected with the existence, — and 
affect the condition of the human race. 

§ 82. Here we are met, however, at the very outset 
of our career, by the exceedingly important question; — 
How could such various forms and qualities of matter, be 
produced from the atoms of a single element, by the action 
of any intrinsic, physical properties or powers? — This 
interesting interrogation brings us at once, to the great 
point at issue between Materialists and Theists. And 
it must frankly be confessed that it is not easy to conceive 
of the possibility, that the present variety of material forms 
and modes of existence, could have resulted from dif- 
ferent aggregations of the atoms of a single element, nor 
of fifty elements, by the exclusive action of any intrinsic 
affinities or properties of the elementary atoms, or forms 
of matter. 

§ 83. If there ever was a time, when the atoms of a 


single element or of fifty elements, lay in a quiescent state, 
with undisturbed affinities, then that state must have 
remained forever, if some disturbing cause had not been 
introduced, to excite the action of those affinities and 
produce combinations and new forms of matter: — -and 
when those affinities thus excited, had all exhausted their 
activity in such combinations, there they must eternally 
have continued — bound by the laws of primitive con- 
jugation, unless some new disturbing cause had again been 
introduced; — and so on, ad infinitum — matter would ex- 
pend its chemical activity, in every action that took place, 
and be totally destitute of the ability to take on new ac- 
tion and to change its form, without the agency of some 
new, paramount disturbing cause, which should relax or 
overcome the law of its previous affinities, and superinduce 
another law of aggregation. 

§ 84. To illustrate this point, let us suppose that the two 
kinds of air called oxygen and hydrogen gases, are ori- 
ginal elements of nature, and that the atoms of which they 
are composed possess an intrinsic appetency or affinity, 
which being excited to action by the combustion of the 
two gases together, in certain proportions, will result in 
the production of a third and entirely different form of 
matter which we call water. — Suppose this room to be 
filled with those gases, in the proportion of two volumes of 
hydrogen to one of oxygen, and that they are completely 
secluded from the action and influence of all other 
causes: — here they would remain forever, without en- 
tering into that combination which forms water, unless 
some new cause is introduced to bring their latent affinities 
into the necessary action; — and if such a material cause 
were introduced, it must necessarily act upon the whole; 
and every atom of matter composing the two gases, 
would enter into the formation of water; — and here the 

52 graham's lectures on the 

active power would be expended and matter would eter- 
nally remain in the form of water, unless again, some new 
cause were introduced, which would overcome those 
affinities, the action of which, resulted in the formation 
of water, and bring into play other affinities, whose ac- 
tion would produce other forms of matter; and here again 
would be the end of action from any intrinsic affinity or 
power of matter. 

§ 85. But perhaps it will be asserted that, with fifty 
elements, we can form a countless number of proximate 
elements, and, with these, by the various possible com- 
binations, and in the various possible proportions with 
the original elements, we can produce an infinite variety 
of substances, and forms, which, acting upon each other, 
as disturbing causes, can keep in eternal activity, the 
affinities of matter, and thus cause an endless transfor- 
mation of material things. 

§ 86. This, it is acknowledged, is true to a considerable 
extent, if all, that is assumed concerning the properties of 
elementary matter, be admitted: — and yet, there is a limit 
far more circumscribed, to the action of all these possible 
affinities and combinations, and proportions, than is com- 
patible with the reasoning and hypotheses of atheistical 
philosophy: — a limit, beyond which, intrinsic atomic 
affinity and activity could not go:— and yet, beyond 
which, matter has been carried to a wonderful extent, 
by laws of arrangement, which counteract and suspend 
its more primitive affinities, and erect magnificent super- 
structures on the ruins of all previous forms and quali- 
ties.— It will be seen in the progress of our investigations, 
that there are forms and modes of material existence, 
resulting from the action of powers and qualities and 
affinities, which are so entirely different from— and in 
fact, opposite to all that can be considered the more 


primitive atomic properties, that it is not possible they 
ever could have been, or ever can be produced by any 
intrinsic appetency or power of matter, even though we 
admit the existence of a thousand elements. 

§ 87. But, although modern chemistry has distributed 
matter into more than fifty elements or simple substances, 
yet, is it not evident, from what has been advanced on the 
present occasion, that the elements of nature must con- 
sist of a much smaller number? and do there not appear 
to be many and strong reasons for believing that there is 
but a single original element, or essence of all matter? 
How extremely subtil and refined and sublimated, that 
material essence, in itself may be; — or what may be its 
distinction from, or proximity to spiritual substance, — it 
is not possible for us to form a clear conception, nor even 
for our imaginations to shadow forth an indistinct idea! 

§ S8. Moreover, it is an interesting and important truth, 
that there is not a single known property or law of matter, 
of which human science can with certainty affirm that it is 
essential to the nature of matter. Even gravitation, the 
most universal and all-pervading property or law of mat- 
ter, known to man, may only appertain to certain forms 
and conditions of matter, and not be in any degree, an 
intrinsic property of its essence. And this is true of 
magnetism and electricity and molecular affinity and every 
other known property. Indeed we know no more of 
the nature of matter, and of what are its essential proper- 
ties, than we do of spirit. — To some extent, we can 
appreciate its forms, and ascertain the properties con- 
nected with those forms, and the laws which govern their 
motions and changes, but beyond this, our knowledge 
does not extend. 

§ 89. Starting then, in our synthetical career, with 
the primordial atoms either of a single element, or of sev- 

54 graham's lectures on the 

eral elements, we are compelled to acknowledge the 
agency, and intelligence and design of a creating and 
controlling Cause, who gave existence to those atoms 
and impressed upon them those virgin affinities or first 
laws of action, in obedience to which, they entered into 
those primal combinations which constituted the prox- 
imate elements of nature; — and these, again, received 
new laws of aggregation, which resulted in other forms 
and qualities of matter. — And thus, from step, to step 
in the great architectural work, the delineating and direct- 
ing finger of Omnipotence, inscribed the constitutional 
laws of every form, — and by those laws, imparted to 
each form its own peculiar nature and properties and 
powers; — and defined the modes of conduct to all mate- 
rial action. — But how far these rudimental combinations 
and arrangements travelled down from the deep bosom 
of eternity, before they reached the present visible and 
tangible state of things, it is impossible for us to ascertain, 
without a knowledge of the first-made forms of matter. 
Nor is it of much importance to my present purpose that 
we should know, since our ignorance in this respect does 
not obscure the great principle of my reasoning. Those 
substances which we now call elements, are probably the 
results of many combinations of the primordial atoms; 
(§ 66.) and although most of them have hitherto resisted 
the powers of analysis in the hands of man, it is almost 
certain that, they are decomposed by the vital energies 
of organic forms, (§ 51 .) and perhaps also, in many of the 
operations of inorganic nature. 

§ 90. There is however, the greatest probability that 
the pure gaseous form, or form of vapor, is that which 
matter, in its progressive combinations, first assumed 
within the bounds which separate between the known 
and the unknown of things: — and there does not appear 


to be any just ground of doubt that, the first palpable 
form of matter, was limpid water. — " The form of our 
globe, and of the moon, and all the planets and celestial 
bodies," says Dr. Arnot, "demonstrates their original 
fluidity." — The laws of constitutional relation between 
water and the vegetable and animal forms of matter, — 
indeed the whole economy of nature strongly indicates, 
if it does not prove, that water was the first visible and 
tangible form of this material world. And Moses in his 
brief history of creation, tells us that, before the heaven 
and the earth were formed, " darkness was upon the face 
of the deep (or the abyss) and the spirit of God moved 
upon the face of the waters." 

§ 91. Water was regarded by the ancients, as one of 
the elements of nature, and some, indeed, considered it 
the single original element, out of which all other mate- 
rial things were formed. Nor was it till the close of the 
last century that its compound nature was fully ascertained; 
and it was found to be formed by the chemical combination 
of two kinds of air or gas. 

§ 92. I have already stated (§87.) that modern chemis- 
try has distributed matter into more than fifty substances, 
which in the present state of science are called elements. 
Among these are two, which are denominated oxygen 
and hydrogen gases. Oxygen gas or air, in its separate 
and pure state, is a little heavier than the common 
atmosphere, of which it is a component part, and is the 
supporter of animal respiration — and the principal sup- 
porter of combustion. Remove it entirely from the 
atmosphere and we could not breathe, — and our lamps, 
and fires would be immediately extinguished, and many 
other evils would result, which there will be occasion to 
notice in the progress of my subject. — Hydrogen gas, 
is about fourteen times lighter or less dense than the 

56 graham's lectures on the 

atmosphere, and is one of the most combustible substances 
known. If a quantity of oxygen gas be enclosed in one 
vessel and a quantity of hydrogen, in another, with a 
tube leading from each vessel and uniting in a common 
mouth, and if the gases be permitted to pass out in 
certain proportions, and be fired at the mouth where they 
meet and mix together, a bright flame will flash up, and 
at the same time a heat will be produced, of sufficient 
intensity to burn iron like dry wood, with a brilliancy of 
light which the eye can hardly endure, — and to melt down 
many minerals and other hard substances which the heat 
of a common fire will scarcely affect at all; — and the 
product of the combustion of these two gases, is wate?. 

§ 93. Thus, from two invisible aeriform substances 
which burn with such intensity of heat and brilliancy of 
light, water is formed by their chemical combination in 
the act of combustion, and when thus produced, is one 
of the greatest extinguishers of combustion known in 
nature, and is many hundred times heavier than the same 
volume of the gases, from which it was formed! 

§ 94. Nor is it necessary to suppose that, the water 
first formed, was in a turbid state, holding, in a semifluid 
solution, a chaotic mass of crude and undigested matter, 
which gradually settled into solid forms, and thus produced 
the rocks and finally the earthy mould which covers 

§ 95. It is only the opinion that those different forms 
of matter which we call simple substances are, in their 
peculiar natures and properties, essentially and primordi- 
ally different and distinct, which causes us to cling to the 
vague notion of a primitive chaos of partly fluid and 
partly solid matter, mixed together, in a kind of semi- 
fluid paste or pudding, because, with our limited views of 
things, we cannot easily conceive how rocks, and other 


solid substances could be formed, without different, 
original, and appropriate kinds of matter, adapted to the 
structure of such substances. 

§ 96. But if we keep in view the principles which we 
have been contemplating, and the truth of which, may 
be considered as more than probable — that all the different 
forms and substances and qualities of matter, are but the 
results of different arrangements and aggregations of the 
same primordial atoms, we shall find no difficulty" in 
understanding how rocks and other solid substances could 
be formed from pure transparent water. Besides, it is 
a matter of continual fact, that various crystalline sub- 
stances are so formed; — and certainly, we cannot consider 
it more incredible that such solid substances should be 
formed from a limpid fluid, than it is that they should be 
formed immediately from thin and invisible air, which is 
a fact of frequent occurrence in nature and in art. 

§ 97. The transformation of fluids into solids, which 
seem to possess no properties in common with the fluids 
from which they were formed, is a very common process 
in the laboratories of chemists, and by no means an 
unfrequent one in the great operations of nature. 

§ 9S. It is not, therefore, in any degree necessary for 
us to suppose that matter, in its first visible and tangible 
state, consisted of a chaos of all the rudimentary sub- 
stances mingled together in confusion, — but still possess- 
ing each its distinct existence and peculiar character. 
Pure, limpid water alone, with the surrounding atmos- 
phere, and light and heat and electricity, contains amply 
sufficient material for all the purposes of nature in the 
magnificent architecture of our world of things. 

§ 99. Those substances which we call oxygen and 
nitrogen gases, being more primitive forms of matter 
than water, of course, existed before it, and therefore 

68 graham's lectures on the 

the atmosphere — such or nearly such as now surrounds 
the glohe, existed before the formation of the world of 

§ 100. When the intimate connexion between light 
and heat and electricity and magnetism, is considered, 
and when we take into view, the important parts which 
these agents probably performed, in the progressive work 
of the original construction of the various forms of matter, 
w~e are philosophically led to suppose that they were the 
next productions in the order of creation. And accord- 
ing to the Mosaic record, after water was formed, light 
was commanded to be, and there was light; — and it is 
now pretty fully ascertained, that if light is not simply a 
peculiar arrangement and condition of the primary 
atoms common to all matter — if light and common matter 
are not convertible into each other, as suggested by Sir 
Isaac Newton, it does not emanate from the sun accord- 
ing to the doctrine of that distinguished philosopher, but 
is a substance so far independent of the sun as to be 
capable of existing without it. 

§ 101. In intimate connexion with light, came heat 
and electricity and magnetism. These new- agents being 
brought into operation upon fixed constitutional principles, 
by the almighty and creative Energy, began to act upon 
the atmosphere and water* according to laws of constitu- 
tion and relation prescribed by infinite intelligence and be- 
nevolent design. — 

§ 102. Evaporation began to take place, and the waters 
ascended up silently in the invisible state of vapor,— 
" and the waters were divided from the waters" and the 
firmament was established. At the same time new laws of 
aggregation were brought into action in "the mighty 
deep," and the limpid water began to arrange itself in the 
beautiful and solid crystals of mineral structure. For 


even here, in this inorganic aggregation, intelligence and 
design preside, — ordaining and exerting rigorous law; and 
every particle of matter, as by a kind of instinct, takes 
its constitutional place, with an order and precision and 
integrity, inflexible as necessity and irresistible as omnip- 
otence! — observing with the exactness of geometry, the 
lines and angles of the structure into which it enters, 
as if each particular atom were directed one by one, 
by the designing finger of the Almighty.— And thus, the 
fluctuating waters were composed into the " everlasting 
rocks" varying in nice peculiarities, according to the 
delicate variations of the constitutional laws of aggrega- 
tion. — And thus the foundations of the earth were laid 
and built up, and lifted their heads from out the bosom 
of the " vasty deep," " and the waters under the heaven 
were gathered together into one place and the dry 

§ 103. Heat, and frost and moisture, and various 
other agents acting upon the rocks which rose above the 
face of the water, caused a disintegration of their surfaces, 
and by this means a body of gravelly earth was formed 
as a matrix for vegetable seeds and roots. Thus, was 
the inorganic world completed. Nice varieties of gaseous 
and fluid and solid formations, continued to be produced 
by the ceaseless operations of nature. And deep in the 
bosom of the globe, fires were spontaneously kindled, 

* Those geologists who oppose the idea that water was the first 
perceptible form of the matter of our globe contend that the crystals 
of what are supposed to be the primitive rocks are much more like 
those which we know to be the result of fusion than those resulting 
from solution. But the idea which I have advanced in the text, is 
is that primitive crystallization resulted from electricity or galvanic ac- 
tion on pure aqueous matter; in which case the crystals would more 
resemble those which result from fusion than those from solution, but 
as a general fact, would be much more regular and perfect than either. 


by which vast portions of the solid rocks were melted, 
and brought again into a fluid state, and earthquakes and 
volcanoes were produced: and by such means, the im- 
mense beds of unstratified rocks were formed, and the 
superincumbent layers thrown into disorder, and hills and 
mountains were erected, and the molten rocks poured 
out upon the surface of the earth. 

§ 104. Such is the general hypothesis which one 
class of geologists have assumed concerning the formation 
of the globe. While another class, with equal confidence, 
and with numerous facts which favour their positions, 
have embraced the hypothesis that the matter of our globe 
was originally in a state of thin vapor, produced by 
intense heat, — and that, as this body of vapor gradually 
cooled down, it became more dense, and in due time, the 
surface became so cool that the matter began to consoli- 
date and form a crust of rocks which slowly increased 
in thickness inwardly, while heat and moisture and frost 
and other agents acting on the external surface, caused 
a disintegration of the rocks as already stated; and when 
some thousands of years had passed away, and numer- 
ous layers of stratified rocks had been super-imposed 
upon the original crust, by the precipitation or deposition 
of matter held in aqueous solution, and derived from 
the disintegration of the primitive rocks, then the pent 
fires in the centre of the globe, became impatient of 
their confinement, and rose up in their wrath, and burst 
through their prison walls, now strengthened by the con- 
tinual accumulations of hundreds of centuries, and thus, 
not only hills and mountains were formed, but islands and 
continents were lifted from the bottom of the ocean, and 
made dry land, and portions of the unstratified rocks or 
original crust were thrust up through the superincumbent 
layers, and thrown out upon the surface of the earth. 


§ 105. I say there are many facts which greatly favor 
this Plutonian hypothesis, so much in vogue among 
geologists at the present day: — and yet I cannot feel 
convinced that, the objections against it are not more 
powerful than the facts in favor of it. Besides, I conceive 
that every fact which the advocates for this hypothesis 
adduce in its support, is perfectly compatible with the 
aqueous origin of the globe. But after all, it is of 
little importance to the argument which I have in view, 
whether the Plutonian or the Neptunian hypothesis is 
the true one: since, in either case, the general positions 
which I have advanced concerning the original forms 
and primitive combinations of matter are equally sus- 
tained. Nor indeed, is it of much importance to my 
argument, that any geological theory should be establish* d. 

§ 106. The great points I wish to prove are, first, 
that, the natural elements of matter, are very few in 
number and probably a single one; — secondly, that essen- 
tially the same matter is common to all material forms 
both of the inorganic and organic world, and therefore the 
essential difference between inorganic and organic Conns 
of matter, is not in the matter itself, of which they are 
composed, but exclusively in the constitutional laws of 
aggregation and arrangement; — and thirdly, that, all the 
affinities, properties and laws of matter, established and 
brought into action during the formation, and up to the 
completion of the inorganic world, necessarily ended in 
inorganic aggregations and forms, — and beyond which, it 
was not possible for them to go. 

§ 107. The first of these points, I have shown to be 
exceedingly probable — the second is unquestionably true: 
and the third admits not the shadow of a doubt. — To 
suppose that the action of inorganic affinities could ter- 
minate in organic arrangement, is to assume that, it is 

62 graham's lectures on the 

possible for the same thing to be and not to be at the 
same time: and to say that organic affinities could grow 
out of any inorganic properties of matter, is equally 
contradictory and absurd. — If inorganic affinities or 
properties are exerted, inorganic results necessarily take 
place; and no combination of inorganic material causes, 
can possibly produce an organic effect. For, it is only 
by counteracting, and overcoming and suspending the 
inorganic affinities, and destroying the inorganic aggrega- 
tions, that matter can be brought into organic arrange- 
ment, and established in the organic constitution. Hence 
it is always, and to all extent necessarily true, that, the 
inorganic affinities are directly opposed to the organic 
affinities; and therefore the latter could, in no possible 
way, spring from the former, nor from any results of the 

§ 108. The atheistical notions concerning the origin 
of organic forms of matter, and of mind, are therefore, 
utterly unphilosophical, and entirely destitute of any 
foundation in scientific truth, and all attempts to account 
for vitality upon any principles appertaining to the physical 
or chemical properties of matter, must necessarily end 
in error and absurdity. To say that life is the result of 
peculiar organization of matter, is obviously and egre- 
giously absurd: because we know that organization is 
always and necessarily the result of vital action, and 
therefore, excepting the first act of creation, vitality 
has always produced organization, and propagated and 
perpetuated itself in and through organized matter;— but 
has never been, and cannot, in the nature of things, ever 
be produced by organized matter not possessing life. 
And the notion that the organized matter of our world 
belongs to a state of things which has eternally existed, 
is entirely contradictory to all that we know of the nature 
of things. 


§ 109. The inorganic world left to itself, with all its 
properties and powers in continual activity and perpetual 
operation, would necessarily have remained forever within 
the precincts of inorganic law and structure. The sol- 
itary ocean would have rolled on in its eternal flow and 
ebb of tides, — evaporation and clouds and rain,— light- 
nings and thunders and tempestuous winds, and raging 
hurricanes, and wintry storms, — and spring and summer 
skies and balmy airs, and bright and glorious sunshine, and 
sultry heat, — and congealing frost, — and night and day, 
would have succeeded in endless and unfertilizing rounds; 
— while on the surface of the solid and the liquid globe, 
and in its bosom, and deep within its bowels, the busy 
chemistry of inorganic nature, would have carried on its 
unceasing processes, — transmuting substances, and mul- 
tiplying the varieties of forms and properties; — and 
kindling subterraneous fires to burst into volcanoes and 
to rend the globe with tremendous earthquakes, and heave 
the regularly concentric strata of its rocks into wild 
irregularity and disorder; — disturbing thus, the smooth 
rotundity of its surface, and producing lofty mountains 
and deep valleys, — -and ploughing channels for the streams 
and rivers, — and scooping out new dwelling-places for 
the ocean: — but, not a tree nor plant nor blade of grass — 
nor any other organic form of matter, could possibly have 
been produced, by any, or all of the affinities and prop- 
erties and powers of that lonely and lifeless world! 

§ 110. Men, in the gloomy, or the sensual darkness 
of their minds, and in the temerity of indomitable pride, 
may speculate as they will, but sound philosophy and the 
truth of science, pause on the confines of the inorganic 
world, and are compelled to acknowledge the necessity 
of an intelligent and designing Omnipotence, to superin- 
duce new laws of action and arrangement, and establish 

64 graham's lectures, etc. 

new constitutions, by which matter shall be set free from 
the dominion of its more primitive affinities and lifted up 
above its former state of being, and forced into arrange- 
ments and structures and tissues and organs and systems, 
entirely different from any of its previous forms — by the 
action of affinities which cannot co-operate, nor efficient- 
ly co-exist in the least possible measure, with any of the 
inorganic affinities: — nay, indeed, which cannot act, but 
to resist and subdue the inorganic affinities, — which 
cannot erect their own peculiar superstructures, accord- 
ing to their own .specific economy, without overcoming 
and demolishing at every step the affinities and structures 
of inorganic matter. (§86.) 

§ 111. How then, could any primitive condition of 
inorganic matter, ever have produced — by any of its 
intrinsic properties or powers, a single blade of grass, 
or the simplest form of vegetable existence? It is not 
possihle! — and such an opinion cannot be embraced, 
without a credulity which shuts its eyes against the light 
of science, and far exceeds the darkest superstitions of 
the human race. 


All forms of matter composed of the same elements — Water the princi- 
pal material from which vegetables are formed— The different vege- 
table substances produced from the same materials— Each, its fixed 
laws of constitution and relation — Animal bodies not produced by 
inorganic nor vegetable affinities — Essentially different — The con- 
stitutional economy of nature permanent — If man were cutoff", matter 
could not reproduce him — Animal substances, how formed — '1 lie 
composition and properties of inorganic bodies — Organized bodies 
derive their existence from pre-existing organized bodies — Organic 
elements, how formed and arranged — Organic bodies consist of both 
solids and fluids — They take the type of the bodies that produce 
them — Life a forced state — Vitality resists gravitation — Resists the 
law of temperature. — Organic bodies return to inorganic forms of 
matter when life ceases — Hibernating animals, how preserved — • 
Transmutation of substances — Life terminates in death — Mutability 
of organic forms — Properties common to all organized bodies — 
Difference between animal and vegetable bodies — Properties pecu- 
liar to animals — The use of chemistry to physiology — Vitality de- 
composes chemical elements — The nature of things depends not on 
their matter but their constitution — Constitutional nature and relations 
of each and every thing. 

§ 112. It is then, as already stated, (§ 106.) by dif- 
ferent aggregations of the same elementary atoms of 
which air and water, rocks and earth are formed, that 
vegetable substances and forms are produced. — Water 
is the principal material which enters into the vegetable 
structure. The atmosphere also affords a portion of 
the nutriment of vegetables; and light and heat are con- 

66 - graham's lectures on the 

cerned in the activity of vegetable life, and in vegetable 
growth, and qualities and forms. But all these sub- 
stances, or forms of matter, on entering into the vegeta- 
ble, organic structure, forego their inorganic forms 
and characters, and qualities and become vegetable, 
organic matter. The oxygen and hydrogen and carbon 
of inorganic chemistry, by virtue of new laws, new 
actions and new arrangements, become vegetable sap, 
and this, by various new arrangements, resulting from 
vital action, becomes solid wood and bark and leaf and 
blossom, and color and odor, and fruit and resin, and 
gum, &c. &c — but while these compose the vegetable 
structure, and while vegetable life exerts its controlling 
energy, it cannot, with strictest propriety, be said, that, 
there is any such substance as oxygen, or hydrogen, or 
carbon within the vital domain: — these substances can 
only be detected as such, when they have been set free 
from the vegetable structure and arrangement and have 
returned again to the inorganic state. 

§ 113. Yet notwithstanding vegetable substances have 
their fixed and peculiar laws of constitution, essentially 
different from those of inorganic arrangement, there is, 
nevertheless, such an exact adaptation of the constitu- 
tions of these different structures to each other, that the 
most determinate and fixed and important laws of rela- 
tion exist between them. 

§ 114. Here, again, if the vegetable and inorganic 
world be left to itself, it is not possible for any, nor for 
all of its material properties and powers, separately, or 
combined, to produce animal life, and structure, and 
organization, and its self-nourishing, and self-propagating 
economy. If inorganic affinities predominate, inorganic 
structure, necessarily resuhs. — If vegetable organic affin- 
ities predominate, vegetable structure necessarily re- 


suits. — They cannot possibly co-operate because they 
directly counteract each other: — and if it were possible 
for them to be simultaneously co-efficient, they could 
not act together, in the production of a third substance, 
differing from inorganic, and from vegetable organic struc- 
ture, and of a higher order of nature than either; — but 
of necessity, from the nature of things, they would arrest 
each other, and remain in belligerent equilibrio. Be- 
sides, if it were possible for laws of action and constitu- 
tion, to arise from any condition of inorganic and vege- 
table matter, by which animal life and structure and 
organization could be produced, — such laws, in order to 
accomplish such systematic results, must necessarily 
arise from the nature of things, and therefore, of necessi- 
ty, must be as permanent in their existence and activity 
as the nature of things from which they spring. But 
such are the constitutional laws and relations of things, 
that they cannot essentially alter their natures without 
ceasing to exist; for the nature of things depends not on 
the matter of which thexj are formed, hut on the laws of 
constitution by which the matter is arranged. (§ 106.) — 
Hence therefore, if it were possible for laws of action and 
constitution to arise from any condition of inorganic and 
vegetable matter, by which animal structure and organ- 
ization and function could be produced, then of necessity, 
in the nature of things, such laws would still continue to 
exist and to produce their results; and living animal 
bodies would not depend on the vital power and econo- 
my, for their successive origination, but on the physical 
laws by which they were first produced. Yet we know 
thai these things are not so: — and who with a sane 
mind, can believe, that, if every human being were, at 
this moment, destroyed from the face of the earth — 
matter, with all its inorganic and vegetable and animal 

68 graham's lectures on the 

properties and powers, could, in millions of years or 
even an eternity of time, reproduce the human species, 
or rise a hair's breadth abo\ e that order of being which 
now exists next on the scale to man! 

§ 1 15. If animal matter were, in its ultimate elements, 
essentially different from vegetable and inorganic matter, 
then might v\ e suppose, that, obeying laws peculiar to its 
nature, it entered into an arrangement peculiar to itself, 
without opposing or in any manner interfering with the inor- 
ganic and vegetable affinities: — but, when we know that an- 
imal matter resolved even to the experimental elements of 
chemistry, is in reality nothing but inorganic matter, 
common to all material forms and substances, we see that 
it is not in any possible degree the nature of the matter, but 
the constitutional laws of arrangement, on which all the 
forms, and properties and peculiarities of material sub- 
stances depend. Hence therefore, of necessity, the laws 
of arrangement from which animal structure results, are 
not only opposed to the laws of inorganic and vegetable 
arrangement, but altogether of a higher order; — super- 
induced by a Power extrinsic from matter — by an Intel- 
ligence adequate to the great designs of nature, and by 
a Power competent for the fulfilment of its designs. 

§ 116. A truly philosophic and scientific mind cannot 
indeed, ask for a more complete demonstration of the 
existence of an intelligent, omnipotent, and benevolent 
First Cause, than is afforded by an accurate knowledge 
of the laws of the various material structures, and forms, 
and modes of existence. 

§ 117. By the controlling power of peculiar laws of 
action which overcome and suspend the inorganic affin- 
ities, and which also demolish the vegetable structure, 
matter is set free — or rather forced from its previous 
forms of aggregation, and compelled to take on the 


arrangement, and enter into the structure, and compose 
the organs of living animal bodies; where it remains in 
reluctant vassalage, till, having fulfilled the purposes of 
the system, in subservience to the vital economy, it is 
regularly discharged from the vital domain — or until the 
vital power is wholly worn out or overcome and 
destroyed, when it returns again to the more primitive 
dominion of inorganic affinities and aggregations, — there 
to continue in the simpler and more permanent forms of 
inorganic matter, or be subject to its various changes, 
until perhaps, it is again forced into the comparatively 
brief endurance of vegetable or animal organic laws of 
life: — and so on, in the perpetual round of inorganic and 
vegetable and animal structure — matter takes its course, 
obedient to the various laws which comprise the several 
constitutions of those forms. 

§ 1 18. Thus, from the same primordial atoms of which 
all vegetable and mineral substances are made, the living 
animal blood is also formed, simply by a different 
arrangement resulting from laws of action, which neither 
existed in any of the previous forms, nor sprung from 
any of the previous conditions or properties of matter; — 
but were instituted, and established in a permanent 
economy by a supreme, intelligent and designing Power. 
By a different arrangement of the matter composing this 
same living blood, the cellular substance of the animal is 
formed. — By a still different arrangement, the animal 
muscle is formed from the same blood, — and by a still 
different arrangement of the matter of the same blood, 
it formed the living animal nerve, wbich is tbe most 
remarkable for its peculiar properties and powers, of 
any known material structure. And thus every solid 
and every secreted fluid of the body is formed from 
the blood, by the peculiar arrangements of the atoms 

70 graham*s lectures on the 

of matter; and this is purely a result of vital power, 
acting, and accomplishing its ends in direct opposition 
to the chemical affinities of inorganic matter; and differ- 
ing essentially in its nature and effects, from the vege- 
table organic economy. 

§ 119. Notwithstanding therefore, all material bodies 
and substances are formed from essentially the same 
matter, by different arrangements of its primordial atoms, 
yet, by virtue of their different laws of constitution, 
organic and inorganic bodies and substances differ essen- 
tially from each other in their natures and forms and 

§ 120. Inorganic bodies, resulting from the more primi- 
tive affinities and simple aggregations of matter, (§ 106.) 
may, according to the statements of chemistry, consist 
of a single one of those substances which are called 
elements; or of a combination of two of them; or of 
four of them, in double binary compounds; or of six 
of them in triple binary compounds. They may also 
exist in the solid or liquid or gaseous forms; yet every 
inorganic body consists wholly, either of the solid, or 
liquid, or gaseous form of matter; and all its parts are 
alii, in structure and properties, and may exist as well 
uli' , separated into portions or broken into fragments, 
as w hen united in a single volume or mass. But whether 
solid, liquid or gaseous — whether composed of one or 
more of the chemical elements, the aggregations and 
arrangements of the atoms of matter in every substance, 
take place according to fixed constitutional laws, and in 
a regular and determinate manner; so that the intimate 
Structure of each form of matter is always true to its 
own nature. Still however, the constitutional laws of 
aggregation in inorganic bodies do not define the shape 
nor determine the size of the general mass, and there- 


fore, while their molecular arrangement is always strictly 
determinate and true to their nature, their general mass 
is either regular or irregular in shape, and large or small 
in size, according to circumstances, and the action of 
accidental causes; and, without in the least degree 
affecting their nature or properties:— and they are in- 
creased or diminished in size, or changed in shape, not 
by any internal economy of growth or decrement, but by 
the simple accretion of matter to, or attrition of it from 
the surface. 

§ 121. Organized bodies, as we have seen, (§ 106.) 
do not result from the action of the more primitive 
affinities of matter, but are produced by a permanently 
established constitutional economy, the intrinsic forces 
of which, counteract and overcome those affinities, and 
bring the elementary atoms of matter into arrangements 
wholly different from those of inorganic substances : (§ 1 07 . ) 
and the forces of this economy do not act, as it were, 
unembodied and at large on the natural elements of 
matter, but their operations are always confined to living 
bodies, consisting of a system of organs, in and by which, 
they produce their peculiar effects, and transmute inor- 
ganic substances, into the substances and structures and 
organs of living, vegetable and animal bodies. All 
organized bodies therefore, are of necessity, produced 
only by the controlling power and action of the vital 
forces of living organized bodies: — or in other words, 
all organized bodies necessarily derive their existence 
from pre-existing organized bodies. 

§ 122. In the peculiar processes by which the vital 
economy transforms the common matter of the inorganic 
world, into the organized matter of living bodies those 
simple forms of organic matter are produced which are 
called the organic elements, and which, according to 

72 Graham's lectures on the 

chemical analysis of dead vegetable and animal matter, 
are composed (generally speaking) in the vegetable of 
three, and in the animal of four of those substances, called 
the inorganic elements. But as the peculiar combinations 
and arrangements by which the organic elements are 
formed, can only be effected by the vital forces and 
actions of the living organs, so it is impossible by any 
other means or in any other manner to produce the 
organic elements. 

§ 123. When the living body has elaborated its own 
elements from the various, and even very different mate- 
rials on which its assimilating forces act, it distributes 
them to every part of the system by an internal economy 
peculiar to organized bodies, and, in the most regular 
and determinate manner, arranges them in its several 
structures and organs, and thus incorporates and identi- 
fies them with itself. 

§ 124. These interesting processes and results require 
that organized bodies should be composed of both solids 
and fluids, — of solids differing in character and proper- 
ties, arranged into organs, and these endowed with 
peculiar functional powers, and so associated as to form 
of the whole, a single system; — and of fluids contained 
in these organs, and holding such constitutional relations 
to the solids as that the existence, the nature and the 
properties of both, mutually and necessarily depend on 
each other. 

§ 125. As the vital forces by which organized sub- 
stances are produced, always and necessarily act in and 
by the organs of living bodies, (§ 121.) as intrinsic, con- 
stitutional properties or powers, so the operations and 
results of the vital economy are governed and determined 
by the organic constitution of the body in which it acts; 
and hence, all organized bodies not only derive their 


existence from pre-existing organized bodies, but neces- 
sarily also take on tbe type of the bodies from which 
they spring, and are of the same internal and external 
structure and form; and when no disturbing causes 
modify the result of the general organic economy, they 
naturally come to the same size. And consequently, all 
organized bodies have, within a certain range, their 
specific proportions and shape and size; by which, as a 
general fact, they are not only distinguished from inor- 
ganic bodies, but specifically from each other. 

§ 126. Not only the intimate structure, but the general 
conformation of parts and adjusfment of proportions in 
organized bodies therefore, depend on the action of the 
vital forces and the general control of the vital ecci i 
and life maintains its dominion over the organized mass, 
and preserves in all its parts an integrity of structure 
and of function, not only by counteracting and overcom- 
ing the inorganic affinities, in its processes of assimil 
and organization, but by resisting the action of foreign 
powers and influences. For, while the chemical ; /Uni- 
ties of inorganic matter are more completely overcome 
and subdued by vitality within its Own organic domain, 
chemical agents and the physical laws of nature, are 
continually exerting their influence on living bodies, 
causing an expenditure of vital power and tending to the 
destruction of the vital constitution, and the decomposi- 
tion of the organized matter. 

§ 127. From the commencement to the termination 
of the vital existence of organized bodies therefore, life 
maintains a continual conflict with opposing forces: and 
hence it has with beauty and propriety been said that, 
"life is a forced state," — " a temporary victory over 
the causes which induce death." 

§ 123. The common law of matter, which in our world, 

74 graham's lectures on the 

causes all bodies to tend to the centre of the earth, acts 
equally on inorganic and organic bodies, and therefore, it 
is in direct opposition to this law, that vegetable vitality 
raises up the sap and constructs the vegetable form; and 
almost every function and action of animal bodies, is 
performed in opposition to the law of gravity. — The 
ascending fluids — the act of standing, and walking, and 
raising the hand &c. &c, are all vital performances, in 
opposition to the law of gravitation. 

§ 129. Again, it is a common law in physics, that heat 
always seeks an equilibrium of temperature in contiguous 
bodies; that is, the hotter body always imparts its heat 
to the colder one in contact, until they are both of the 
same temperature: and this law appertains to all forms 
of matter, — inorganic and organic. Living bodies give 
off their heat to colder bodies in contact, the same as 
inorganic bodies, and but for their peculiar powers would 
soon become of the same temperature of contiguous 
bodies or the surrounding medium. By virtue of vitality 
however, they are enabled to maintain a temperature 
peculiar to themselves: — not by suspending or counter- 
acting the common law of heat, but by generating heat, 
according to the wants of the system; or by disposing of 
its excess in the formation of vapor. Even the lowest 
order of vegetable life, while in a state of activity, pre- 
serves a temperature peculiar to itself; and this is more 
remarkably the case with animal life: and especially in 
the higher orders of animal existence. The temperature 
of the human blood, for instance, is, in a healthy, robust 
man, about ninety-eight degrees; and it hardly varies two 
degrees from this point whether the temperature of the 
surrounding atmosphere be twenty degrees below zero 
or two hundred and sixty degrees above it: — but destroy 
vitality, and very soon the blood will be of the same 
temperature of the surrounding air. 


§ 130. When heat acts on inorganic bodies, it raises 
their temperature by directly communicating itself or its 
quality or condition to them; but living animal bodies 
mostly or entirely resist this action of extrinsic heat, and 
their temperature is very little, if at all elevated by its 
direct communication to them as heat. When extrinsic 
heat therefore, serves to elevate in any degree the 
temperature of the living animal body, it does it in a 
twofold manner : — positively, and negatively. — Positively, 
by acting as a stimulus on the nervous system, and 
through that on the organs and vessels generally, and 
thus increasing vital and functional activity: and negatively 
by elevating the temperature of the surrounding medium, 
and thus preventing the radiation of intrinsic heat. 
Hence the more healthfully vigorous the vital power is 
in animal bodies, the better are they enabled to sustain 
the extremes of cold and heat. 

§ 131. Organic arrangement of matter, being as we have 
seen (§ 106.) the result of vital forces which counteract 
and suspend the more primitive affinities of inorganic mat- 
ter, depends entirely for its permanence, on the controlling 
power of vitality; — hence when organic arrangement is 
destroyed, it is always by the mastery of the inorganic 
affinities, asserting their prior claim to the organized 
matter: and consequently organic bodies when they cease 
to live, begin immediately to decay: — or in other words, 
their matter begins to return to the dominion of inorganic 
affinities and laws, and to enter into inorganic aggregations, 
and forms. But w hile vitality maintains its predominance, 
it resists the action of the principles of decay, and pre- 
serves the matter within its precincts, in its living organic 
nature and condition and powers. — Thus, vegetable and 
animal bodies being deprived of their vitality — unless 
artificially preserved — soon decay and pass into inorganic 

76 graham's lectures on the 

arrangements and forms of matter; yet vegetable seeds 
and roots have been preserved by their vitality for 
thousands of years, with all their properties and powers 
so perfect, that even after a lapse of centuries, on being 
placed in a genial soil, they have vegetated and grown 
like the productions of the preceding year. And, in 
like manner, some of the animal creation, such as toads 
and frogs, have been preserved by their organic vitality, 
in a staie of suspended animation, for hundreds and thou- 
sands of years; and on being set free from their incar- 
ceration in the bosom of solid rocks far beneath the 
surface of the earth, have awakened again from their 
living death, and exerted their powers of locomotion. 
But if the vitality of those bodies be extinct when they 
are first surrounded by the matter of the rock, and when 
that matter is in a fluid state, — or if they be surrounded 
when not in a state of hibernation or of suspended 
an'i. lion, and their vitality be destroyed, the fluid enters 
le cavities of the bodies, and by its peculiar qualities, 
so acts upon the organized matter, that it foregoes its 
organic arrangement, and takes on the aggregation of the 
roc in which it is entombed, retaining only the general 
ou. os of its animal form; and thus becomes an animal 
petrifaction-. Vegetable substances are also, frequently 
peLiified or transmuted in the same manner. " J have 
often seen amidst quantities of mineral ore brought into 
this city for manufacturing purposes," says Mr. John 
Far, an extensive practical chemist of Philadelphia,— 
"pieces of wood, which at one end were partly carbon- 
ated, in the middle completely carbonated, and at the 
other i nd changed into sulphuret of iron, hard enough 
to strike fire with a flint." 

§ 132. Thus in every case, so long as vitality main- 
tains its dominion over the matter which is forced into 


its organic structure, it preserves that matter from the 
power of inorganic affinities, but when that consen 
principle is destroyed, matter returns, as by a more deeply 
written instinct, to its more primitive and inorganic forms. 

§ 133. Vitality, as I have already stated, (§ 10S.) is 
not, in the least possible degree, the result of peculiar 
arrangements of matter, — but the peculiar arrange- 
ments of matter composing organic- bodies, are always 
the results of vital action, and depend on vital power 
and vital action for their continuance: and hence liv- 
ing bodies not only derive their origin from pre-exist- 
ing beings like themselves, (§ 125.) hut also, in a per- 
fect state, always possess faculties and powers, by which 
vitality perpetuates itself in connexion with organization, 
in the successive propagation of organized bodies. And 
hence also,(§ 126.) when that peculiar condition of 
organized bodies, on which the operations of the vital 
economy depend, is either violently destroyed or gradu- 
ally worn out, the vital actions cease and life becomes 
extinct; and the individual existence of the body termin- 
ates in death, and the matter composing it, yields to the 
action of inorganic affinities, and dissolution and decay 
succeed. As a general law therefore, organic bodies, 
from their very nature and condition, are less permanent 
in their modes of existence than inorganic bodies are. 

§ 134. See, in yonder peaceful and silent retirement, 
that gray, moss-covered rock, rendered hoary and venera- 
ble by tiie lapse of centuries, and deeply wrinkled in its 
ancient brow, by the waveless and noiseless, but swiftly 
gliding current of Time. — Beside it stands in full devel- 
opment and earl}' vigor, a noble oak whose large and 
powerful branches stretch abroad, in bold defiance of the 
storms of heaven. In the shadow of that stately tree, and 
under the ( overl of that venerable rock, a little boy, full 

78 graham's lectures on the 

of the health and buoyancy and vivacity of youth, is 
happy in the enjoyment of his childish play. To one 
who did not know the history of man, nor understand 
his nature, it would seem, as if that human form, in all 
its health and activity and power, might be as permanent 
in its existence as that tree and rock. 

§ 135. Years pass away, — and lo! beside that rock, 
and in the shadow of that tree — leaning upon the handle 
of his scythe, in the full stature and sturdiness of man- 
hood, he that was that boy, again appears. — Health, 
and athletic vigor, and energy of mind — and peaceful- 
ness of heart — bright prospects, and sustaining hopes, in 
all the fulness of life's prime, are his. He looks far 
abroad over his fertile fields, and in the dreamy sun- 
shine of his soul, contemplates the prosperity and hap- 
piness of coming years. — But, in that bright, prospective 
vista of his thoughts, there comes no intimation to his 
mind, that, in those future years, so full of present hope, 
old age, with all its paralyzing and withering influences, 
will come upon him to take away his strength and elas- 
ticity, — and impair his senses, and— to him, throw over 
every thing in nature, the twilight mistiness, if not the 
melancholy of declining life. — But years pass on, — and 
there remains that rock, unaltered in its aspect and its 
form, save where perhaps, the violence of man, hath made 
a fracture on its insensible front, — and it may be, the 
inclemencies of heaven — humidity and frost, and the 
eternal and unebbing flow of time, have worn more 
deeply, the wrinkles of its brow: — and there that oak, in 
its full power, and stateliness, and verdant health, continues 
still beside that ancient rock;— no marks of time's destruc- 
tiveness are on it; — save here and there, on the extremity 
of some long branch, a leafless and dry twig appears. — 
But lo, where but as yesterday that boy was seen, in the 


spring-tide and joyfulness of youth, now stands an aged 
man, bowing in palsied feebleness upon his staff, and 
thinking how like a hurried dream his life has been. — He 
looks upon that rock and on that tree as the associates 
of his childhood; and they remind him of his youthful 
days, and bring back upon his chilled and aged heart, 
something of the warmer spirit of those years of childish 
cheerfulness and hope: — and it hardly seems reality to 
him, that such a change has passed upon him in the brief 
lapse of intervening time, which has stolen from him 
even as the oblivion of a single night! The rock, the 
tree — and all the face of nature, seem the same, as 
when in infancy he first beheld them: — but he is 
changed! — He feels that he is changed! — The bounding 
pulse — the elastic step — the buoyant spirit — they have 
passed away, and left him in the tottering feebleness 
of hoary-headed age! — A few more years pass on, and 
that old man is gathered to the dead, and his organic 
tenement returns to inorganic and insensible forms of 
matter: — and other generations come to make acquaint- 
ance with that rock and tree, and pass through life 
with all its hopes and fears, and joys and griefs, from 
childhood to old age, and die and moulder back to 
former dust! — Thus, in succession, generations rise and 
fall, till by and by, the years are numbered even of that 
tree; — and death begins to manifest itself, in the leafless 
and dry branches of its top; — and soon its verdure and 
its foliage wholly disappear, and the dead trunk and 
limbs stand hoary as the aged man! — and in a few more 
years, that tree is prostrate on its native earth and silent- 
ly decays beside that solitary rock, which still remains 
but little changed in form and size and aspect, from what 
it was, even centuries before the tree first sprang from 
earth within the precincts of its shadow. 

80 Graham's lectures on the 

§ 136. Thus organic bodies begin their existence, 
and gradually grow up to maturity; and then decline and 
die, and decay, and pass into other forms of matter, in 
comparatively brief periods of time, while inorganic 
bodies more permanently exist — exempt from death, and 
from those internal changes and effects which impair and 
finally destroy the constitutional power of organic struc- 
ture and arrangement. 

§ 137. The properties already stated as peculiar to 
living organized bodies, are common to all vegetables 
and animals. — All living material beings — vegetable and 
animal, derive their origin from pre-existing bodies of 
the same kind; and possess the faculties of nutrition and 
reproduction, and alike terminate their peculiar modes 
of existence by death. Yet the animal kingdom is as 
distinct from the vegetable, as the latter is from the 
mineral kingdom: — and although animals partake of sev- 
eral physiological properties and powers and conditions, 
in common with vegetables, nevertheless, the constitu- 
tional laws of arrangement in animal mailer, differ as 
essentially from those of vegetables, as the latter do from 
those of inorganic aggregation. Hence, animal structure 
is of an entirely different nature from that of vegetables, 
and possesses properties and powers peculiar to itself. 

§ 138. The great fundamental endowments distin- 
guishing animals from vegetables, are, sensibility — con- 
sciousness of being — volition and voluntary action or 
motion, — out of which grow a number of important and 
interesting faculties and peculiarities. 

§ 139. According to the technical language of chem- 
istry, vegetable matter, as a general statement, is formed 
by a peculiar combination of carbon, oxygen and hydro- 
gen; while animal matter is formed by a peculiar com- 


bination of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. 
Several other simple substances are also said to enter 
into the composition of vegetable and animal bodies. 
But these statements are assumed rather for the conve- 
nience of theory than as being exact expressions of what 
is strictly true in the nature of things. The great fond- 
ness of modern chemists, to account for all the phenom- 
ena and results of vitality upon chemical principles, has 
too frequently led them, to trespass on the prerogatives 
of life, and thus retard the progress of physiological 
science, by preventing that investigation of the vital 
forces and actions, which is necessary to a full ascer- 
tainment of the laws of life. — It should be ever remem- 
bered that, no organic substance can be separated from 
the vital control, and subjected to chemical experiment, 
without so essentially altering the character of the sub- 
stance, as to render it impossible for the chemist to 
affirm, from the results of his experiments, with any 
degree of certainty, what is true or not true of the 
peculiar processes of the living organic system. It is 
therefore much more safe and philosophically accurate 
for chemists to say what inorganic forms or kinds of 
matter result from a chemical analysis of organic sub- 
stances, than it is for them to state that organic sub- 
stances are composed of such and such chemical 
elements or kinds of matter. We know, it is true, that 
all material bodies are composed of that common matter 
of the world which modern chemistry has distributed into 
more than fifty elements; and we know that in manu- 
facturing its various organic substances out of that com- 
mon matter, the vital economy employs more of some 
of those elements than of others. We also know that, 
some of those elements or forms of matter are much 
better adapted to the purposes of the living body than 

82 graham's lectures on the 

others; — but we have no right to assume that, the vital 
forces possess no higher energies of analysis than are 
exerted by the chemical agents of the inorganic world; 
nor that, their principles of combination in any respect 
resemble those of inorganic chemistry: — on the con- 
trary, we have reason to believe that vitality decomposes 
all those substances used in its economy, which chemists 
call elements; and that, in arranging its various organic 
substances and structures, its synthetical operations are 
very different from those of inorganic chemistry. It is 
therefore purely hypothetical to assert that oxygen and 
carbon and hydrogen and azote and other chemical 
elements, as such, combine, in the vital processes, to 
form the various substances and structures of the organ- 
ic system. Nevertheless, it remains equally true, that 
the only essential differences between the various organic 
and inorganic forms of matter, consist in, and spring 
from the constitutional laws of arrangement which gov- 
ern their component particles and constitute the peculiar 
nature of each form. 

§ 140. The most interesting and important principles, 
therefore, which are presented to our consideration by 
these investigations, and which should make the deepest 
impression on every mind, are these — The nature of 



ERTIES of things result: and consequently, it is 
necessarily true, — not only that, each particular form of 
matter, has its specific laws of constitution, but also that, 
the constitution of each particular form, is so exactly 
adapted to the constitution of other forms of matter, in 
relation to which it exists, that the most definite and fixed 


and inseparable laws of relation are established between 
all material forms; binding the universe together in one 
great and intimate community of interests, on principles 
as fixed and permanent and as unalterable as the nature 
of things. 

§ 141. Thus,. the proximate elements of nature were 
constituted with definite relations to each other: — and so 
on, as matter travelled down from its unimaginably subtil, 
and almost spiritual essence, (§ 87.) combining — it may 
be, its essence and its proximate elements in a thousand 
modes before it reached those forms which human science 
regards as simple substances, — each peculiar form of 
matter, throughout all the range, was constituted with fixed 
and permanent relations to all other forms: — and, contin- 
uing on in the progressive work of conformation, the same 
principle pervaded all material existence. 

§ 142. Thus, water, has not only its fixed and neces- 
sary laws of constitution, but also its constitutional laws 
of relation to the gases of which it is formed; — and to 
every thing in the mineral kingdom formed from it: 
and thus, the vegetable sap has its own peculiar laws of 
constitution, and its fixed and precise constitutional laws 
of relation to water and the atmosphere, &c; — and the 
woody matter, and bark and leaf and blossom and color 
and fragrance and fruit, &c. of vegetables, have all their 
particular laws of constitution, and their definite laws of 
relation to each other, and to the sap, and to the atmos- 
phere, and to heat, and light, &c: — and thus again, the 
animal blood, has its fixed laws of constitution, and its 
equally fixed and necessary laws of relation to the aliment 
from which it is formed, and to water, and the atmos- 
phere, &c; — and the bone, and cartilage, and muscle, 
and nerve, and all other forms of matter in the animal 
system, have their fixed and necessary laws of constitu- 

84 graham's lect.ures on the 

tion, and their necessary laws of relation to each other, 
and to the blood from which they are formed. 

§ 143. There are also many interesting laws of relation 
existing between the inorganic and vegetable and animal 
kingdoms, of a more general and obvious character, which 
spring from the constitutional nature of things. Thus the 
vegetable economy has its relations to the nature and quali- 
ties of the soil, and atmosphere — to climate and the sea- 
sons — to day and night — to heat and gravitation, &c. &c; 
and the vegetable economy, to a great extent, elaborates 
from inorganic matter, the substances on which animals 
subsist; — and in turn, vegetables receive a portion of their 
nutriment from animal excretions. Carbonic acid gas 
which is thrown off in such immense quantities by animal 
respiration and perspiration, is, when received into the 
lungs without a mixture- of atmospheric air, almost instan- 
taneously destructive to animal life; — or, in other words, 
it is wholly unfitted to sustain animal respiration: — but the 
vegetable economy, — at least during the day — decom- 
poses this gas and retains its carbon as vegetable nourish- 
ment, and sets free the oxygen, which is that peculiar 
property or constituent principle of the atmosphere that 
supports animal respiration. 

§ 144. But these important and interesting relations 
are too numerous and in many instances too intricate to 
admit of a full exhibition at this time. I shall however, 
have occasion to speak of some of them which are most 
important to my subject, when I come to consider those 
particular points to which they more immediately belong. 
Suffice it now to say, that throughout the universe of 
created things, the laws of constitution and relation (§ 140.) 
compose the great permanent net-work in whose sustain- 
ing meshes all material forms and beings subsist.:— And 
therefore, every thing in nature is bound to its general 


condition, by laws innumerable, which cannot be violated 
with impunity. — And man — whether he will acknowledge 
it or not — is, in his constitution and relations, such that 
he cannot move nor breathe nor exercise volition without 
obeying or violating penal laws! 


All solids formed from fluids, in the mineral, vegetable and animal 
kingdom — Chemical analysis and physiology— Phosphate of lime in 
bones— Laws of vital combination unknown — From chyle and blood, 
solids formed — The department of the physiologist, what ? — of the 
niiatoinist, what ? — of the chemist, what? — How far chemistry can aid 
physiology — Chyle, its character — all the body formed from it — its 
properties nearly the same, whatever the food — The blood — all the 
substances of the body formed from it — Three general kinds of solids 
— Cellular, muscular, and nervous tissues — Globular form of the ele- 
mentary filaments — The nature and properties of the three general 
tissues — These form all the organs — 'iheir distribution and arrange- 
ment in the system — Natural order of development — Internal or- 
gans — External frame — Great divisions of the body — Arrangement of 
the serous membrane — its character — The bones — their number and 
arrangement — ( 'artilages, their situation, and uses — General skeleton 
— Original state of the bones — 'I he structure and character of carti- 
lages and ligaments — Properties of the muscle — distribution and func- 
tions — Nerves, their order, distribution and functions — Voluntary and 
involuntary muscles — Tendons — Number of muscles — Arrangement 
of voluntary and involuntary muscles — Muscle not reproduced. 

§ 145. It is an interesting fact that, so far as human 
knowledge extends, all solid bodies are formed from fluids. 
In the mineral kingdom, the internal structure and general 
form of some solid masses indicate a previous state of 
fusion, or fluidity produced by heat or electricity; while 


others strongly indicate, if they do not prove a state of 
previous solution, or aqueous fluidity, of their mailer. 

& 146. In the vegetable kingdom we know that, all 
the solid as well as other substances in the plant or tree, 
are formed from the sap, which, in the radicles that absorb 
it from the earth, is apparently little else than pure water, 
and which is gradually changed into the vegetable nature, 
and determinately arranged in the vegetable structures, 
by the peculiar powers of the vegetable economy. And 
in the animal kingdom also, we know that all the solid, 
as well as other substances composing the living body, arc 
formed from the thin watery fluid called chyle, which is 
elaborated from the digested food of the alimentary canal, 
and gradually converted into living blood, and diffused 
throughout the system, and arranged into solids and 
secreted into other fluids, by the peculiar energies of 
animal vitality. 

§ 147. When the chyle and blood and bone and mus- 
cle and the various other solids and fluids of the s; 
have been elaborated by the vital economy, chemists 
take these several substances and subject them to chemi- 
cal experiment and analysis, and when they have resolved 
them to the simplest forms peculiar to the decomposition 
of animal matter, they denominate the substances thus 
obtained, the organic elements; and these again are re- 
solved to the ultimate chemical elements, or purely inor- 
ganic forms of matter. And thus we are furnished with 
a chemical nomenclature of the elements that compose 
the living animal body. And learned physiologists, 
taking these results of the chemical analysis of dead 
animal matter, gravely attempt to account for most or all 
of the operations and effects of the living organic econo- 
my, on the principles of inorganic chemistry; and to teach 
us what chemical elements combine — and in what pro- 
portions, to form the several substances of the organic 


System. But it must be perfectly obvious that most of 
their reasoning is purely hypothetical; for it assumes that 
the experimental elements of chemistry are the real 
elements of nature; — or, at any rate,.ihat the vital forces 
cannot decompose them; and therefore, that the chemical 
decomposition of dead animal matter, demonstrates the 
vital composition of living animal matter. But, if any 
given number or proportions of the chemical elements, 
as such, combine to form any one animal substance, why 
is it not possible for the manufacturing powers of human 
science, with the same elements, to make any approach 
to the results of the vital processes? (§ 51.) 

§ 148. The atheistical philosopher sneeringly tells us 
that, the human bone was not made by a God, as the 
ignorant superstitiously believe, but that it is composed of 
gelatin, phosphate of lime &c. and that these are formed 
by peculiar combinations of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, 
azote, phosphorus, &c. But can such philosophers 
take these elements and compose the human bone? — or 
do they seriously believe that, there is any power or means 
in the material universe, by which the human bone can 
be composed, except the vital power and economy of the 
living animal system? — Whether phosphoric acid and 
lime, as suck, enter into the vital composition of the 
animal bone or not, it is not possible for the atheistical 
philosopher to prove that they do; — and science affords 
him less evidence of the fact, than it does that, the 
peculiar economy, by which alone in nature, the animal 
bone is formed, was originated and established by an 
intelligent Creator. Nor would it be an easier matter 
for the chemical physiologist to demonstrate that the 
gelatin which so largely abounds in animal bodies is 
formed from the albumen of the blood by a chemical 
process, which abstracts from it a portion of its carbon, 
as suck; — nor indeed, can it be proved that oxygen, or 

88 graham's lectures on the 

carbon, or any other chemical element, as such, passes 
through the vital operations into the living results, 
retaining its peculiar nature and properties, or without 
entirely foregoing the nature and qualities which it 
possessed as an inorganic substance. 

§ 149. All we know with certainty is, that when proper 
substances are received into the appropriate living and 
healthy organs of the animal system, they are, by powers 
and processes peculiar to that system, converted into 
chyme, chyle, and blood, and from the blood, into several 
distinctly different solids and fluids, possessing each its 
peculiar nature and properties; — the solids being so 
arranged as to form the several organs of the system, and 
the fluids being contained in those organs in such states 
and conditions as the welfare of the vital domain requires. 

§ 150. To ascertain as fully and as accurately as pos- 
sible, the properties and powers of the living solids, 
separately, and the functional powers and performances 
of the several organs formed by particular arrangements 
of these solids, — and the nature and purposes of the 
fluids, — and the general and particular laws and conditions 
which govern and affect the vital economy, — in short, 
to ascertain as far as possible, all the properties and 
powers and operations and effects of the living body, is 
the appropriate business of the physiologist. When the 
body is dead, the dissection and description of its several 
parts, organs, tissues, &c. is the appropriate business of 
the anatomist; and the analysis of the dead animal matter 
into proximate or ultimate elements, is appropriately and 
only the business of the chemist. 

§ 151. Chemistry therefore, can tell us what forms of 
inorganic matter, result from a chemical analysis of dead 
animal matter; but she cannot tell us what forms combine 
to compose the living organ. She cannot inform us 


a priori, whether mineral or vegetable or animal sub- 
stances are best adapted to the alimentary wants of man: 
nor can she with any certainty direct us in the selection 
of even those substances which .experience has proved 
to be nourishing to the human body. — She can decom- 
pose the atmosphere, but she cannot tell us which of its 
elements qualify it to support animal respiration. — If by 
reason of impaired functional power in the human stom- 
ach, foreign acids should be generated in that organ by 
the action of inorganic alfinities, chemistry can inform us 
what will neutralize those acids, but she cannot tell us 
whether the alkalies which she prescribes, will not do 
more mischief to the living tissues of the organ, than the 
acids she seeks to neutralize; and therefore she cannot 
tell us whether her very remedy will not be a powerful 
means of perpetuating the evil she seeks to remove: — in 
short, she can in no respect, from her knowledge of the 
chemical elements, or their laws of combination in the 
living body, tell us what is salutary or baneful to the vital 
weal. All this, we learn only from the living body. 

§ 152. While therefore all due honor is paid to the 
highly interesting and important science of chemistry, 
the science of physiology and of therapeutics, should be 
exceedingly cautions how they invoke her aid. — So far 
as chemistry can assist the physiologist in ascertaining 
and defining the external relations of the living body, she 
is useful to him; but more than this she cannot do, with 
that certainty which should inspire his confidence. 

§ 15.}. The most simple form of the animalized matter 
composing the living body, is the chyle, which is elabo- 
rated from the digested food in the alimentary canal. 
This, when it first enters the radicles of those capillary 
tubes which conduct it onward towards the blood-vessels, 
is a very thin pearl-colored fluid, apparently homogene- 

90 graham's lectures on the 

ous,— and, by chemical analysis, is almost wholly resolved 
into water. And, so far as chemical scrutiny has been able 
to discover, this fluid is almost precisely the same, wheth- 
er elaborated from vegetable or animal food.* As it pro- 
ceeds along the vitalizing tubes, it gradually becomes 
more and more albumenous and fibrinous; and with 
scarcely any appreciable difference in regard to these 
properties, whether the food be vegetable or animal; 
but in regard to vital properties and effects, differing 
very considerably, as we shall see hereafter. (§ 466.) 

§ 154. When the chyle enters the blood-vessels it 
approaches very nearly in character, to the blood, which 
is itself apparently a very simple, homogeneous fluid, 
the chief constituents of which, are essentially albumenous; 
and of which, four fifths may be resolved to water by 
chemical decomposition. 

§ 155. From the blood, the vital economy elaborates 
all the substances and forms of matter composing the 
animal body, — constructing with marvellous skill and wis- 
dom — with reference to final causes — the blood-vessels, 
and the alimentary tube with the assemblage of organs 
associated with it for the purposes of nutrition, and the 
outer walls of the body, with its limbs and organs of 
external relation. 

§ 156. The solid forms of organized matter thus inex- 
plicably and wonderfully elaborated by the vital economy, 
from the fluid blood — consisting of membranes, and 
nerves and muscles, and tendons and ligaments and carti- 
lages and bones, may all be reduced to three general kinds 
or substances — the gelatinous — the fibrinous and the albu- 
menous; which, in the simplest language of modern 
physiology, are denominated the cellular — the mus- 
cular and the nervous tissues. 

* See Note to § 465. 


§ 157. Some eminent physiologists assure us that, 
the elemental - )' structure of the animal tissue, is a delicate 
arrangement of minute globules; and that this is alike true 
of the cellular, muscular, and nervous tissues. (Fig. 
1.) — Indeed, it is said, that the fluid Fi g- *• 

as well as the solid parts, both of animals 
and plants, abound in these minute glob- 
ules. In regard to the size of these glob- 
ules, there is considerable difference of 
opinion. It has been asserted by some 
that, a globe of about the eight thousandth 
part of an inch in diameter, is the elemen- 
tary organic molecule of which every solid 
of every animal body is formed. Others 
contend that the size of the molecules, differs in the dif- 
ferent tissues, and even in different parts of the nervous 
system, — being, it is said, largest in the brain proper, — 
somewhat smaller in the little brain, — still smaller in the 
medulla oblongata, — smaller still in the spinal marrow, 
and smallest and most opaque of all in the nerves. These 
views may be correct; but in the present state of our 
knowledge on this subject, we cannot rely with entire 
confidence on the results of microscopic investigations. 

§ 158. The gelatinous substance, in its various forms 
of proper cellular tissue — membranes — tendons — liga- 
ments — cartilages, &c. is the most simple of all the 
animal solids, and the lowest in the scale of vitality and 
vital endowment. Its properties are cohesion, flexibili- 
ty, elasticity; and in some of its forms, extensibility. — 
These properties are, none of them, peculiar to organ- 
ized matter; — yet the elasticity of the cellular tissue, 
which is a very important power in the vital functions, 
is, probably, to a very considerable extent, a vital 
endowment; as it is much greater in the living body, 
than it is after life is extinct. 

92 graham's lectures on the 

§ 159. The muscular tissue, composed of the fibrinous 
substance, is of a higher order of animalization and vital 
endowment than the cellular- tissue. It possesses the two 
important vital properties of excitability and contractility. 
The former renders it capable of being acted on by stim- 
ulants, and the latter, of contracting or shortening its 
length, under the action of stimulants. 

§ 160. It is impossible to say how far we can subject 
the animal tissues to our analytical investigations, without 
effecting an essential change in their nature; and therefore 
we cannot with entire certainty, affirm that the organized 
substance which we examine and on which we experi- 
ment, is precisely the same as when constituting a healthy 
portion of the living body. It is under this disadvantage 
and incertitude that we always necessarily labor when we 
attempt to ascertain the elementary character of any of 
the animal solids; — or even of any of the results of vital 
action: — and it is to a considerable degree, under this 
disadvantage that physiologists affirm that, the nervous 
tissue is essentially albumenous. But, as T have already 
stated, it is of comparatively little importance to the 
physiologist to know the chemical composition of the 
animal solids. — It mainly concerns him to know the 
vital properties and powers and functions of thosesolids 
when composed, and arranged into organs: — and in regard 
to these, there is little necessity for ignorance or uncer- 
tainty, on any important point. 

§161. The nervous tissue is the highest order of 
organized matter: and is endowed with the most peculiar 
and wonderful, vital properties. In the descriptions of 
anatomy it is said to consist of two, apparently distinct 
substances. — The one is sometimes called cineritious, 
because it is generally the color of ashes, — sometimes, 
cortical, because it lies on the surface of the brain like the 


bark of a tree, and sometimes, from its apparent consis- 
tence, it is called pulpy. It is said to appear under a 
powerful microscope, to be principally composed of a 
congeries of blood-vessels. But the truth is, the real 
structure and character of this substance, is little under- 
stood. Some consider it a kind of matrix or ganglion by 
which the real nervous substance is produced and re-en- 
forced; while others believe it to be the more refined 
and exalted part of the nervous substance, in which the 
sensorial power more specially resides. All this how- 
ever, is nothing but conjecture. 

§ 162. The other substance, from its resemblance to 
marrow, is called medullary, — or in contra-distinciion 
to the cineritious, it is called the white substance, and 
more recently it has been called the fibrous substance, in 
contra-distinction to the pulpy. It is of firmer consis- 
tence than the pulpy, and the matter of which it is 
composed, has in our own day, been ascertained to be 
arranged in the form of minute and delicate fibres. 

§ 163. In every portion of the nervous system, which 
constitutes a distinct nervous apparatus, the pulpy sub- 
stance is found associated with the medullary or fibrous, 
in some of its parts. Sometimes investing the surface 
as in the case of the brain; and sometimes situated more 
internally, as in the spinal marrow. 

§ 164. The peculiar vital powers of the nervous 
tissue are two, — the nervous and the sensorial. 

To the nervous belong — the vital properties concerned 
in the functions of digestion, absorption, respiration, 
circulation, secretion, organization or the processes of 
structure, and the production of animal heat. The trans- 
mission of external impressions to the centre of perception, 
and of the stimulus of volition to the voluntary musi les, 
have also been classed among the nervous properties, but 

94 Graham's lectures on the 

it is questionable whether the former of these two powers 
or faculties does not more strictly belong to the sensorial 
power of the nervous system. 

§ 165. To the sensorial power belong conscious- 
ness — sensation — the perception of external impressions 
and internal affections, reflection, volition and other 
faculties called intellectual. 

§ 166. Sensibility is generally considered the funda- 
mental sensorial power; yet the brain, which is regarded 
as the more special seat and centre of the sensorial power, 
is, in its own proper substance, entirely destitute of sensi- 
bility or the power of sensation, in the ordinary meaning 
of the - word. Animal sensibility in the physiological 
signification of the term, is the power of sensation in the 
living nervous tissue, and sensation is an affection of 
the living tissue, of which the centre of perception is 
not only conscious, but always refers it to some par- 
ticular locality. Animal sensation therefore not only 
makes the mind conscious of a body, but of particular 
parts of the body. This is not necessarily true of the 
sensorial power. We may gaze on an interesting and 
absorbing scene or sink into a deep reverie, and lose 
all consciousness of a body, and be only conscious of a 
mental existence. We think, it is true; — and we are 
conscious of our thoughts, but wc are not conscious of 
the organic machinery of our thoughts, — and still less do 
we refer -our thoughts as sensations to any particular 
part, or organ of the brain. At such times we are not 
even conscious of a brain nor of a head nor any thing of 
a corporeal nature. To say therefore, that sensibility is 
the fundamental sensorial power, is to give the term sen- 
sation a very broad signification, and to confound things, 
between which in the common understanding there are 
very important differences. 


§ 167. These three general tissues — the cellular, mus- 
cular and nervous, together with the more solid matter of 
the bones, compose all the organs and parts of the animal 
system; and, in entering into the texture of the several 
organs, each tissue carries with it, and retains during life 
and health, its own peculiar vital properties, and these 
together, become the fundamental principles of functional 
power in the organs. 

§ 16S. The cellular tissue constitutes a kind of 
reticulated frame- work to the whole body; — (fig. 2.) 
giving shape and proportion to ^"g- 2 - 

each particular organ, and con- 
nexion to all; and entering so 
intimately and extensively into 
every part, that if the other sub- 
si ances were entirely abstracted, 
the cellular tissue would perfectly preserve, not only the 
general outlines of the body, but the definition and 
proportions of each particular organ and part. 

§ 169. Every bone partakes largely of this substance 
in a spongy or cellular arrangement, the interstices of 
which are filled with a fluid, separated from the blood, 
which becomes hard and gives the peculiar solidity to 
the texture. Some of the bones are united by this sub- 
stance in the form of elastic cartilage, or fibro-cartilage, 
as the vertebrae of tin; back — -the ribs to the sternum, &c. 
and the articulating surfaces of the bones are also sheathed 
wiili cartilage: and the joints are strongly secured, and 
different bones bound together by another form of the 
same substance, called ligament. This last form is like- 
wise expanded into a fibrous membrane which surrounds 
every bone in the osseous system, and also surrounds 
the cartilages and forms sheaths for the tendons. 

§ 170. Besides this distribution to the bones, carti- 

96 graham's lectures on the 

lages and tendons, the cellular tissue forms sheaths for 
every muscle and for every fibre of which each muscle 
consists, and principally composes the tendons, and ten- 
donous expansions which connect the muscles with the 
bones. — Every fibre and fasciculus and cord of the ner- 
vous system, is also separately enveloped in a delicate 
Y\„, 3. sheath of cellular tissue; 
a ^_ ™™^«™««s?^!&. (fig- 3 -) an d tne brain 
\ ^^=^Skst^^m=s^. ^^^^ an< ^ s P ma l marrow are 
wrapped in a membra- 
neous texture of the same substance. 

§171. The different tissues in their arrangement in 
the texture of the several vessels and viscera of the body, 
are connected together by the cellular tissue; and in fact, 
this substance principally composes the solid part of all 
the vessels and viscera of the system: and finally, each 
individual organ is enveloped, and every internal surface 
is lined, and the external surface of the body is covered 
with membranes composed of this substance. 

§ 172. With very limited exception, if any, the vital 
contractility of the muscular tissue, is the only element 
of positive motion in the living animal body. All volun- 
tary motion, and most, if not all, involuntary motion 
depend on this vital property of the muscle. Hence 
the muscular tissue is distributed where motion is required. 
The bones are incapable of motion within themselves, 
and consequently no muscular tissue enters into then- 
texture. But they serve as levers of voluntary motion, 
and therefore the muscles of voluntary motion are con- 
nected with them, and attached to them, in such a man- 
ner as that the contraction of the several different muscles, 
produces the various motions required. The windpipe, 
meatpipe, stomach, and intestines are also furnished with 
muscular tissue. The heart is principally muscular, 


and the diaphragm is mostly composed of muscular tissue. 
Several other internal organs are supplied with this tissue. 
The arteries and veins are said, by some anatomists, to 
be destitute of it, and yet it is very certain that they pos- 
sess the power of contractility. 

§ 173. The nerves, being the more peculiar and 
immediate instruments of vitality, preside over the func- 
tions of the vital economy; and consequently they are 
distributed to every part of the system where a vital 
function is performed; — accompanying the blood-vessels 
in all their ramifications, and being most intimately asso- 
ciated with every muscular fibre and filament. 

§ 174. In the order of nature, the blood-vessels with 
their appropriate and presiding nerves, are first produced, 
and these immediately commence the structure of the 
alimentary tube with its accompanying organs, — furnishing 
each, with its due supply of cellular, muscular, and 
nervous tissue, according to its particular office in the 
system, and the powers required for the performance of 
its special function. At first, the several internal organs, 
are, in a measure, so many distinct and independent 
formations or systems, which become more and more 
connected as their development advances, and finally, 
they become so intimately associated as to form of the 
whole assemblage, a single system. In the mean time, a 
wonderfully constructed tabernacle is in preparation for 
them. The spinal column, and the arching ribs, with 
their investments of muscle and membrane, form the 
hollow trunk, which encloses, supports and protects them. 
The head, and then the upper extremities, and the lower 
-extremities, and the organs of special sense, and the 
external skin with its appendages of hair and nails, follow 
in their order. 

§ 175. For the better protection of the organs, and 


Graham's lectures on the 

for other important purposes, the cavity of the body is 
divided by the diaphragm into two apartments. (Fig. 40.) 
The upper one is called the thorax, and the lower one, 
the abdomen. The thoracic cavity, extending from the 
neck to the lower extremity of the breast-bone in front, 
and somewhat lower at the sides and back, contains the 
lungs and heart and a portion of the large blood-vessels, 
and the meatpipe. The abdominal cavity contains the 
liver, stomach, intestinal canal, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, 
&c. (Figs. 4. and 31.) 

Fig. 4. 

V. Large blood-vessels 

R L. Right lung. 

L L. Left lung. 

H. Heart. 

D D. Diaphragm. 

Lie. Liver turned up. 

Stm. Stomach. 

G. Large blood-vessel in the 

III. Intestines. 

§ 176. For the still farther security of the several 
parts, and the general well being of the whole, a peculiar 
texture of the cellular substance, called the serous mem- 


brane, completely lines both cavities of the body, and then 
facing back upon itself, it is extended and folded in such 
a manner, as to envelope each organ separately and in 
a measure, to insulate and confine it to its proper place. 
Thus, in the thorax or chest, the serous membrane — 
here called the pleura — besides lining the cavity through- 
out, including the upper surface of the diaphragm, faces 
back upon itself, and surrounds each lung, and passes 
double across the chest from the breast-bone to the back- 
bone, forming a septum or double partition between the 
lungs, called the mediastinum, and thereby completely en- 
closes each lung in a sack by itself, — the one on the right 
and the other on the left side of the thorax. The two 
laminae or sheets of membrane which form the middle 
partition are separated at the lower part of the chest to 
receive the heart between them. This organ is also sur- 
rounded by its own peculiar membrane called the pericar- 
dium. The serous membrane which lines the inner surface 
of the abdomen and envelops each organ of that cavity, 
has the general name of peritoneum; but its particular 
parts are designated by terms significant of the organs 
invested. Thus, the part which embraces the intestinal 
tube, and holds its convolutions in their relative position, 
is called the mesentery, mesocolon, &c. (Fig. 5. See 
also, fig. 35.) 

Fig. 5. 

A P, the dotted line represent- . 
ing the serous membrane 'in- /< 
ing the walls of the abdomi- // 
nal cavity. II 

M, the mesentery. It 

/, the intestine, surrounded bv V 
the serous membrane which V 
forms its peritoneal coat. 

S, the spine. 

§ 177. In regard to the particular anatomy and physi- 
ology of the serous membrane there is much difference 

100 Graham's lectures on the 

of opinion. Some describe it, as being abundantly sup- 
plied with nerves and vessels, both being colorless, and 
the latter containing a colorless fluid, and performing the 
office of exhalants and absorbants; — and this they consider 
fully proved by the fact that the serous membrane is capa- 
ble of a high degree of inflammation and morbid sensibil- 
ity; as in pleurisy, peritonitis, &c. On the other hand 
it is asserted with equal confidence, that this membrane 
is entirely destitute of both vessels and nerves; and that 
fluids pass through it by infiltration or imbibition. Those 
who entertain this opinion, of course, deny that this 
membrane can be the seat of inflammation and mor- 
bid sensibility. They contend that the inflammatory 
diseases, attributed to the serous membrane, have their 
seat in the subjacent tissue, and that such is the thinness 
and transparency of the serous membrane, that the 
inflamed aspect is seen through it, and gives it the appear- 
ance of being itself inflamed. 

§ 17S. Be the truth as it may, in regard to this dis- 
puted point, it is of very little importance as a matter of 
practical knowledge. In a healthy state, at least, the 
serous membrane has no animal sensibility. Its surface, 
external to the organs, but internal to itself, is exceeding- 
ly smooth, and is continually lubricated by a fluid which 
is either exhaled from its vessels or passes through it by 
infiltration from the subjacent vessels. By these means, 
contiguous organs are enabled to move with ease upon 
each other, and the adhesion of contacting parts, is pre- 
vented. On the side of the membrane next to the organs 
and the parts which it lines, it is everywhere surrounded 
or covered with a spongy cellular substance, which con- 
tains more or less of adipose or fatty matter, according 
to the condition of the body. In fleshy people, large 
quantities of fat accumulate in many parts of this tissue. 




§ 179. The bones which compose the solid frame- 
work of the body, and serve to give it shape and firmness, 
and to form its cavities, and its organs of prehension and 
locomotion, are of various forms and sizes. Some of 
them are hollow, and their cavities are lined by a cellular 
membrane which contains an unctuous substance called 
marrow, the use of which is not certainly known. The 
whole number of bones in the body, is two hundred and 
fifty-six; of which, fifty-six belong to the trunk, sixty-six 
to the head, sixty-eight to the upper and sixty-six to the 
lower extremities. 

§ ISO. Of the bones of the trunk, twenty-nine, and in 
some insiances, thirty are employed in the construction 
of the spinal column or backbone. Twenty-four of these 
are called the true vertebra?, and the other five are called 
the false vertebrae, or the sacrum and coccygis; these 
last being concerned also with the hip bones in the forma- 
tion of the pelvis or basin at the bottom of the trunk, and 
constituting the base on which the vertebral column 
rests. Of the true vertebrae, 
seven belong to the neck, 
twelve to the back and five 
to the loins; and are accor- 
dingly distinguished by the 
terms cervical, dorsal and 
lumbar vertebrae, from the 
latin cervix, neck, dorsum, 
back, and lumbus, loins. 
These bones have some- 
what the shape of a ring, 
with a rounded body in 
front and several projections 
from the arch behind; one 
running directly back which is called the spine, and two 

bb,cc, processes of the arch. 
f, foramen or opening. 


graham's lectures on the 

Fi S 7. 

running obliquely backward 
with which the ribs form 
one of their two posterior 
points of attachment. (Fig. 
6 . ) The vertebrae are there- 
fore so constructed, that, 
when arranged in their prop- 
er order, they form both a 
column of support to the 
body, and a canal for the 
spinal marrow. Between all 
of these bones, is interposed 
an elastic fibro-cartilaginous 
substance, which, with sur- 
rounding ligaments, unites 
and binds them to each oth- 
er in such a manner as to 
give to the column consid- 
erable flexibility and elastici- 
ty, and at the same time, se- 
cure to it, all the supporting 
power of a solid bone. In 
the most natural, easy and 
graceful position of the body 
the spinal column is not 
erect, but waved or curved ; 
and such is its elasticity, 
caused by the intervertebral 
cartilages that an individual 
is sometimes about an inch 
taller when he rises in the 
morning than when he re- 
tires at night. (Fig. 7.) 

Bones of the head and spinal column, divided on the middle line so as to show 

a, the brain; b, the little brain; g-, the medulla oblongata; c, d, the spinal marrow. 



§181. Attached to each side of the twelve dorsal 

vertebrae, are twelve ribs, which, together with the 

breast-bone, form the „. c 

Fig. 8. 

cavity of the chest. 
Most of the ribs have 
a double attachment 
behind; — one to the 
body of vertebrae, and 
one to the transverse 
process or oblique 
projection. — They 
droop as they pro- 
ceed forward, so that 
their anterior extrem- 
ities are considerably 
lower in their natural 
position, than their 
posterior. The up- 
per seven, — called 
the true ribs, are 
united directly to the sternum or breast-bone by car- 
tilages. Of the remaining five, called the false ribs, three 
are joined in front to each other and to the superior ribs 
by curved car ilages, and the two lowest are not in any 
way connected with the sternum, and are called floating 
ribs. (Fig. 8.) 

§ 182. Of the sixty-six bones which belong to the 
head, seven enter into the formation of the strong globe 
or skull which contains the brain, and which rests upon 
the top of the spinal column and receives the head of 
the spinal marrow through a large foramen or opening at 
its base. Four small bones constitute a part of the 
auditory apparatus of each ear. The rest, beside the 
thirty-two teeth, are employed in forming the upper and 

b b, the spinal column. 

:, the ribs. 


Graham's lectures on the 

lower jaws, the cheeks, the nose, the palate, &c. There 

are in each jaw sixteen teeth; — of which there are on 

each side two front, one corner, and five cheek teeth. 

Fig. 9. 

Fig. 9. 

r a A 


I, the incisores or cutting teeth. 
C, the cuspid or corner tooth. 
B, the bicuspids or small cheek 

G, the molar or large cheek teeth. 
A, the rudiments of the perma- 

nent teeth before they emerge 

from the jaw. 

§ 183. To the upper extremities belong, on each 
side; the shoulder blade, the collar-bone, the long bone 
of the upper arm — the two bones of the fore arm, — the 
eight small bones of the wrist, — the five of the body of 
the hand — the fourteen of the fingers and thumb, and the 
small appendage to the thumb joint. 

§ 184. To the lower extremities belong, on each side, 
the hip bone — the long bone of the upper leg or thigh, 
the two bones of the lower leg, with the patella or knee- 
pan, — the seven small bones of the ankle and heel, — the 
five bones of the instep or body of the foot, — the four- 
teen of the toes, and the small appendage to the great 
toe joint. 

§ 185. At first, — before the solidity of the bony struc- 
ture is required by the condition of the animal, the place 
of the bones is entirely occupied by cartilages having the 


precise shape of the bones to which they afterwards give 
place, except that they are, none of them, hollow. — As 
the time approaches when the condition and functions of 
the organized system will require the support and protec- 
tion of the solid bone, the process of ossification commen- 
ces at many different points, and continues on, till the 
whole osseous system is completed. — But the cartilages 
are not wholly expelled from the system. Enough are 
retained to serve the purposes of union and general and 
particular elasticity. As life advances the bones gradu- 
ally become more dry and hard, and in old age, and in 
some kinds of disease, they become vitreous and very 
brittle. In every instance where two bones are united, 
cartilage is interposed between them and forms the union: 
— in some cases firmly, as in the sutures of the skull — in 
other cases admitting flexion, as in the back bone and ribs. 
In all the moveable joints, the articulating surfaces of the 
bone are covered with dense, and highly polished cartila- 
ges, which are continually lubricated by a glairy fluid called 
synovia: — by which means the joints are enabled to act 
with great ease and litlle friction. — Cartilage is also 
employed separately from the bones in forming some of 
the cavities: as the larynx, windpipe, part of the nose, 
&c. — All the cartilages, except the articular, are, like 
the bones, surrounded by a fibrous membrane called the 
perichondrium. Anatomists differ much in regard to the 
vascular and nervous endowments of the cartilages. 
There is no reason to believe however, that they have 
any other nerves than those which belong to the texture 
of the vessels concerned in their growth and nutrition: 
(§ 230.) and accordingly, they have in health, no animal 
sensibility: (§ 294.) nor, in health, do their vessels con- 
tain any red blood. — In early life, the cartilages are very 
soft: — they gradually become drier and harder; and in old 

106 graham's lectures on the 

age, they lose much of their elasticity and become brittle; 
and some of them ossified, or converted into bone;— 
especially those of the fixed joints as the sutures of the 

§ 186. By this interposition of cartilaginous substance 
between the bones many advantages are gained. Be- 
sides the flexibility of the spinal column and the yielding of 
the ribs and other bones, friction is prevented in the 
joints: and a general elasticity is imparted to the frame; 
greatly assisting in running and jumping, &c, and to a 
very considerable extent, protecting us from injury by 
breaking the force of blows, falls, &c. 

§ 187. The ligaments consist of an assemblage of 
strong fibres composed of the cellular tissue. They are 
employed in connecting the articular ends of the bones 
and cartilages; and in securing the moveable joints, in such 
a manner as to prevent displacement, and at the same 
time, to allow of all necessary motion. Some of them 
are situated within the joint like a central cord or pivot; — 
some surround it like a hood, and contain the lubricating, 
synovial fluid; — and some are in the form of bands at the 

§ 188. The ligaments bind the lower jaw to the tem- 
poral bones, the head to the neck, — extend the whole 
length of the back-bone in powerful bands, both on the 
outer surface and within the spinal canal — and from one 
spinous process to another: — and bind the ribs to the 
vertebrae and to the transverse processes behind, and to the 
breast-bone in front, and this to the collar-bone, and this 
to the first rib and shoulder blade and this last, to the bone 
of the upper arm at the shoulder joint, and this, to the two 
bones of the fore arm at the elbow joint, and these, to the 
bones of the wrist, and these to each other and to those 
of the hand, and these last to each other and those of the 



fingers and thumb. In the same manner also, they bind the 
bones of the pelvis together, and the hip bones to the thigh 
bone, and this, to the two bones of the leg and knee pan, 
— and so on, to the ankle and foot and toes, as in the upper 
Fk. 10. 

The skeleton. 

extremities.— And thus, the whole osseous system is 
united and bound together in the most powerful and 
admirable manner; so as to possess in a wonderful degree, 
mobility and firmness. (Fig. 10.) The ligaments like 


graham's lectures on the 

the cartilages, are, in health, destitute of animal sensi- 
bility, and like them, are more soft and yielding in early 
Fig. 11. 



The trunk divested of the skin showing the muscles, a, b, c, &c. 

life and become more dry and rigid and inflexible in old 


§ 189. The muscles, commonly called the flesh, 
which clothe the bones with symmetry and comeliness, 
constitute a considerable part of the whole bulk of the 
body. To a careless observer, they seem to consist of 
a confused mass of flesh, surrounding, and adheringto the 
bones : — -but the scientific inquirer finds every part of the 
muscular system, to be arranged into organs, in the most 
regular and determinate manner. On divesting the body 
of its integument or skin, distinct masses of flesh are seen 
running in various directions. (Fig. 11.) Some are very 
broad and thin — some, narrower and thicker, and some 
are more rounded. — Some are of uniform size — and some 
are large in the middle and taper towards the extremities, 
and some spread out like a fan. — Some are long and 
some short. — Some running parallel with the bones, and 
some more or less obliquely or transversely. These 
are called muscles; and each of them is surrounded by 
its own separate sheath of gauze-like cellular tissue, the 
interstices of which are repositories of fatty matter. If 
this sheath be carefully opened the muscle is found to 
be composed of a number of parallel fasciculi or bundles, 
each of which, is likewise surrounded by a cellular sheath. 
If again, one of these be opened, a number of parallel 
fibres appear, which are also .^ 12 

separately enveloped in eel- jgHBM»^a»^_i^^B^» 
hilar sheaths: and each of 
these fibres is composed of 
a number of minute parallel 
filaments. (Fig. 12.) 

§ 190. There is the utmost discrepancy of opinion 
among anatomists, in regard to the elementary muscular 
filament. — Some asserting that it is large enough to be 
perceived by the unassisted eye, and others, that it is too 
small to be discerned under the most powerful microscope. 

110 Graham's lectures on the 

— Some say that it is hollow, and others affirm that it is 
solid. — Some assure us that it is a continuous, uniform 
thread, and others contend that it is a delicate arrange- 
ment of minute globules, surrounded by a soft, albumen- 
ous substance, and appearing like a string of fine beads. 
But these points are of little importance to us. If we can 
fully ascertain the vital properties and functional powers 
of the muscle, and know on what these depend and how 
they are affected by those causes which are under our 
control, we possess essentially all the knowledge in 
regard to the nature and structure of the muscular filament, 
that can be of practical utility to the world. 

§ 191. I have said (§ 159.) that the vital properties 
of the muscle are 1st, susceptibility or a peculiar 
kind of organic sensibility to stimulants. 2d, con- 
tractility, or the power to shorten its length under 
stimulation. — These are generally regarded as a single 
property, or power, and denominated muscular irritabil- 
ity. But they are obviously different powers. The 
one is a power to receive an impression, and the other, a 
power to act under that impression, and they are both 
vital endowments of the muscle. In regard to muscular 
contraction physiologists do not agree. Some say that, 
when the muscle contracts, its fibres are bent in a waved 
direction, and have a knotted appearance: and others 
assert that there is a longitudinal condensation of the 
substance. — Some think the volume of the muscle is 
increased by the act of contraction, and some assure us 
that it is not. But it is enough for us to know that, the 
living healthy muscle, in all its forms and situations, has 
vital contractility, which is essentially the same, and 
subject to the same laws, in all the parts and distribu- 
tions and appropriations of the muscular system. Some 
physiologists contend that, the muscle also possesses the 


power of active extension: — but the opinion is not w 
supported, and is probably incorrect. 

§ 192. The vital properties of the muscle, are rapidly 
exhausted by action, and therefore, it is requisite that they 
should be continually replenished or sustained. — This 
depends most directly and immediately on the arterial 
blood: and consequently it is necessary that the muscle 
be constantly and freely supplied with that fluid. Ac- 
cordingly, numerous and capacious arteries are distrib- 
uted to the muscles, penetrating them in every direction 
and extending in countless ramifications to the smallest 
filaments, and conveying to the muscular system a very 
large supply of blood, to replenish its exhausted ener- 
gies and to nourish its substance. Veins everywhere 
accompany the arteries to receive their unappropriated 
blood and conduct it back to the heart; and thus, a con- 
tinual stream of fresh arterial blood is poured through all 
the muscular tissue. 

§ 193. The nerves which are distributed to the 
muscles of voluntary motion are of three kinds. 1. 
Those that accompany, and belong to the blood-vessels, 
and preside over their functions. These are only con- 
cerned in maintaining those conditions and in producing 
those changes in the blood which are necessary to the 
welfare of the muscle. 2. Those that convey to the 
muscle the stimulus of the will. These are supplied 
in great numbers, and they divide and subdivide till they 
are too small to be detected. These only act to stimu- 
late and exhaust the muscle. 3. The nerves of animal 
sensibility, that convey to the animal centre of percep- 
tion, those impressions by which the mind is informed 
of the action and conditions of the muscles, and of exter- 
nal tact, &c. These are furnished in small numbers, 
and hence the muscles possess but little animal sensibil- 

112 Graham's lectures on the 

ity. None of these three kinds of nerves, can be con- 
cerned, in imparting directly and immediately to the 
muscle, its peculiar vital properties. Those properties 
therefore, belong to the intrinsic vitality of the muscle: 
and this vitality can only be maintained by constant 
supplies of arterial blood, in an appropriate condition; 
and this, as a permanent fact, requires the presence and 
integrity of all the nerves described. A degree of mus- 
cular contractility however, remains, sometimes a full 
hour after the extinction of animal life. 

§ 194. The muscles of the body are divided into two 
classes, in the descriptions of anatomy. Those of volun- 
tary motion, and those of involuntary motion. The 
former are also called the muscles of animal life, and the 
latter, the muscles of vegetative or organic life. The 
muscles of voluntary motion or of animal life, generally 
invest the bones, and are mostly, on the outer parts of the 
body, and greatly abound in the limbs. The muscles of 
involuntary motion belong to the vascular system and the 
digestive and respiratory apparatus. — Some of the mus- 
cles of voluntary motion attach themselves immediately to 
the bones; but most of them terminate their two extremi- 
ties in a fibrous arrangement of cellular tissue, called 
tendon, and by these tendons, or tendonous expansions, 
are attached to the bones. (Fig. 13.) Some anatomists 

Fig. is. 

A biceps muscle, or muscle having two tendons at one end 
and one at the other. 

suppose the tendons are formed by the continuation and 
condensation of the cellular sheaths which surround die 
muscular fibres. (§ 168.) 


. § 195. Tn their texture and properties, the tendons 
differ very little from the ligaments. They are com- 
posed of small white fibres closely united to each other, 
and are surrounded by sheaths, lined by a membrane 
which secretes for them a lubricating fluid. They possess 
little elasticity or extensibility, — have no animal sensibili- 
ty, and but few vessels, and these not discernible in an 
ordinary state. Like the cartilages and ligaments they 
are more soft and elastic in early life than at a later 
period, and become dry and rigid in old age. 

§ 196. The tendons being attached to the muscles at 
one end, adhere at the other, to the periostium or mem- 
brane which surrounds the bones and which unites them 
to the bones; and thus they become the media through 
which the muscles act on the bones. Some of them are 
very long and extend to parts considerably removed from 
the muscles, as in the upper and lower extremities. This 
arrangement secures many mechanical advantages to the 
system, and very greatly contributes to the symmetry and 
beauty of the body, — by accumulating muscles into large 
masses in some places, and withdrawing them from 
others, and thereby giving the beautifully curved outlines 
of the trunk and limbs, and the small ankles, wrists, &c. 
The tendons are usually found only at the extremities of 
the muscles, but they are sometimes inserted in the 
middle, dividing the body of the muscle into two or more 
parts, as in the under jaw, the neck, diaphragm, &c. The 
end of the muscle which is attached to the most fixed 
point is called its head or origin — the fleshy mass is the 
body, and the end attached to the moveable point, is its 
termination. Some of the muscles are only attached to 
the bones at one extremity; and some, being circular, have 
no direct attachment to the bones. Both of these last 

114 graham's lectures on the 

named kinds, are found in the face — surrounding the 
mouth, &c. 

§ 197. As the muscles have only the power to produce 
motion by their contraction, they are so arranged as to 
act as antagonists to each other, — some displacing a part 
and some replacing it: — some flexing or bending a limb, 
and some extending it: and therefore, they are termed the 
abductor and adductor — the flexor and the extensor mus- 
cles. The flexor muscles are considered to be generally 
more powerful than the extensors, and hence when the 
will ceases to act, as in sound sleep, and death, the 
body and limbs are partially flexed or bent. 

§ 198. According to Meckel, " there are in the normal 
or proper state of the body, two hundred and thirty-eight 
different muscles, six of which are composed of two parts 
which unite on the median line, and two hundred and 
thirty-two are in pairs; so that the whole number of 
voluntary muscles is four hundred and seventy." These 
are so arranged and adjusted, as to position and connex- 
ion, that by the contraction of the different pairs or indi- 
vidual muscles all the voluntary motions of the trunk, of 
the head, of the upper and of the lower limbs are per- 
formed. The function of respiration which, to a certain 
extent, is both voluntary and involuntary, also employs 
some of these muscles. 

§ 199. The muscles of involuntary motion, are much 
more simple in their external form than those of animal 
life; and except in the heart, they have no appearance of 
tendons. Their fasciculi, fibres and filaments are not 
distinct and parallel to each other but continually interlace, 
and consequently are much shorter than the fibres of the 
voluntary muscles. Their fibres are arranged in several 
superimposed layers and these layers are most generally 
transverse or oblique; and form rings round tire cavities 


which they circumscribe. The circular fibres or rings 
are nearest each other at the orifices of the cavities, and 
are stronger than the longitudinal or oblique fibres. The 
involuntary muscles do not antagonize, or act in opposi- 
tion to each other; but they either act in concert, or so 
as not to counteract each other; as their office is to 
diminish the cavities in length and caliber; both of which, 
may be done simultaneously. Some of the muscles or 
fibres however act alternately or successively as in the 
heart and intestines. The involuntary muscles are even 
more abundantly supplied with vessels than those of ani- 
mal life. 

§ 200. The muscles of the body, like the cartilages, 
ligaments, tendons, and other forms of the cellular tissue, 
are at first, very soft, and gradually become more consis- 
tent and powerful; and in old age, they gradually become 
more and more dry and rigid. 

§ 201. The muscular substance when once destroyed 
is never reproduced; but when the muscles are wounded, 
with, or without a loss of their substance, the breach is 
healed and the parts united by a peculiar arrangement of 
cellular tissue, which is wholly insensible to the action 
of stimulants. 


The nervous system the most important portion of the body — The more 
immediate organism of vitality — Through the nerves vitality acts on 
all the other tissues and substances of the body — Nervous system 
subject of great interest — Difficult to study — Physiological properties 
common to all living bodies — Vegetables and animals: — Different de- 
grees of consciousness and voluntary motion in different orders of ani- 
mals — Organs of sensation and locomotion — of internal and external 
relation — their functions — Animal bodies have two classes of functions 
— of nutrition — of voluntary motion — How far are they dependent on a 
nervous system? — Have vegetables nerves? — Brain and spinal marrow, 
&c. supposed to be the nervous system of man — errors of the opin- 
ion — Natural law and order of development — Human bodies without 
a brain and spinal marrow — Errors from experiments on living animals 
— Brain and spinal marrow passive in the development of the body — 
Must be some other system of nerves — Nerves of organic life, their 
development, distributions, arrangements and functions — General 
order of the development of the several parts of the body — Nerves of 
organic life preside over all the function of development, and nutri- 
tion, &c. — Composition of the ganglions — Cerebro-spinal system — 
its order of development — distribution — arrangement and functions. 

§202. The nervous system is, in many respects, the 
most interesting and important portion of the human body. 
It is the more immediate organism of vitality, and the 
vital operations, and the intellectual manifestations: and 
hence it has been said that, the nervous system constitutes 
the man; and that, the bones and muscles, and the whole 
assemblage of internal organs with their various functions, 
are only intended to sustain and serve the nervous system. 

Graham's lectures, etc. 117 

§ 203. Vitality, however, is by no means peculiar to 
the nerves; but, in various degrees, it pervades all the 
tissues of the living body; and the blood is a living fluid: 
and the chyle also, especially in its more advanced stage 
of assimilation, possesses a measure of vitality. Never- 
theless, the nerves are more highly endowed with vital 
properties and powers, than any other substance of the 
body: and they are, — in the animal kingdom at least, — 
most evidently and immediately, the instruments of vitality 
in all the operations of its wonderful economy. 

§ 204. By the vital power ol the nerves, the properties 
of the other tissues are called into exercise, and the 
functions of all the organs are performed. The food is 
digested into chyme, and thence into chyle, and thence 
into blood; and the b'ood is transformed into the various 
solids and fluids of the system, and at the same time the 
temperature of the body is regulated. (§ 173.) 

§ 205. By virtue of the vital endowments of the nerves, 
we perceive our internal wants, and external condition, 
and relations; — and act upon the muscles, and through 
them upon the bones, in our voluntary motions. And by 
virtue of the peculiar and mysterious endowments of the 
nervous substance, we think and reason and feel and act, 
as intellectual and moral beings. (§ 530.) 

§ 206. It is not surprising therefore, that the nervous 
system of man has ever been the subject of peculiar 
interest to the anatomist and physiologist; — nor, when 
all the difficulties of the subject are considered, is it 
wonderful that a great diversity of opinion and theory, 
has always obtained in regard to it. Among those diffi- 
culties, the almost impossibility of carrying our inquiries 
within the vital domain without disturbing the vital econ- 
omy to such an extent as to throw the utmost uncertainty 
over the results of our investigations, is by no means the 

118 graham's lectures on the 

least. Yet it is to be apprehended that, this difficulty 
has been too much disregarded by those who have boldly, 
and even rudely, invaded the precincts of life. Had 
those physiologists who have experimented so freely and 
extensively on living animals, always duly appreciated 
the force of sympathies in those bodies while under their 
experiments, they would probably have been saved from 
many erroneous conclusions; or, at least, would have 
asserted them with less confidence. 

§ 207. I have said that all living bodies possess those 
faculties by which their nourishment and growth are 
effected — their temperature regulated, &c. (§ 137.) 
The vegetable seed, by virtue of its own vitality, ex- 
cited to action by a genial soil and other appropriate 
circumstances, puts forth its little roots into the earth, 
and absorbs foreign matter and converts it into the sub- 
stances and textures of its own organism; and thus, an 
economy is established by which the trunk and brauches 
and twigs, and leaves of the giant oak, are gradually and 
fully developed, and all the vital operations of the tree 
maintained, until the condition on which the continuance 
of the vital action depends, is worn out, or destroyed, 
and then death ensues. 

§ 208. Drawing its nourishment from the earth into 
which its roots penetrate, and from the atmosphere 
which surrounds it, and, in none of its final causes, 
requiring a voluntary change of place nor the perform- 
ance of any other voluntary function, the tree, by nature, 
is fixed to the spot from which it springs, unconscious 
of its being, and without any organs of external percep- 
tion and of voluntary motion. And, so far as those vital 
operations are considered by which chyme and chyle and 
blood are produced and the blood circulated throughout 
the system, and the body, in all its parts nourished, and 


growth and development effected, and the temperature 
regulated, and all the other functions of organic life sus- 
tained, the animal differs but little from the vegetable; 
and in health, is equally destitute of animal conscious- 

§ 209. In the lowest orders of animal existence, the 
Zoophytes approach so near, in all respects, to vegeta- 
bles, that naturalists long doubted whether they belong 
to the animal or vegetable kingdom. They are but dim- 
ly conscious of their being; and are nourished by means 
which scarcely demand faculties superior to those with 
which the vegetable is endowed. But the higher orders 
of animals being nourished by substances which are not 
only external, but separated from them, require both a 
perception of the internal wants of the system, and the 
faculties by which they can perceive, and approach to, 
and seize the external substances by which those wants are 
supplied. Hence organs of sensation and of locomotion 
and prehension, subject to voluntary control, are neces- 
sary as organs of external relation; — the primary office 
of which, is to perceive and procure the materials by 
which the body is nourished and place them within the 
reach of those organs of nutrition, by which the whole 
system is built up and sustained in all its powers and 
operations; and also, to perceive and avoid, or withdraw 
from those causes or means, by which, the vital interests 
and the comfort of the body, may be disturbed and 
destroyed: — and, having fulfilled these duties, the organs 
of external relation, have no other immediate concern 
with the internal organic functions, except so far as their 
own welfare and integrity, depend on the general welfare 
and integrity of the whole system. And this is true of 
all the higher, as well as of the lower classes of animals. 

§ 210. There are therefore, in organized bodies, two 

120 graham's lectures on the 

general classes of functions, and a corresponding organi- 
zation. The primary class, consists of all those func- 
tions which are concerned in the nourishment, growth, 
temperature and general sustenance of the body, as an 
organized being. The secondary class, consists of those 
functions which minister to the wants of the primary 
class, and are established with reference to the relations 
between those internal wants and the external supplies, 
and to the general external relations of the body. The 
functions of the primary class, I have said, are common 
to all organized bodies, both animal and vegetable; but 
those of the secondary class are peculiar to animals. 

§211. The important question then is; do the func- 
tions which are common to all organized bodies depend 
on a system of nerves, or are they performed indepen- 
dently of any nervous system ? 

§ 212. It is a disputed point among physiologists, 
whether there is a system of nerves in vegetables or not. 
Some have asserted that, they have been able clearly to 
discover a simple system of nerves in vegetable bodies; 
while others declare that, there is nothing in vegetables 
which approaches to the nature and character of a nerve. 
— That there is nothing in vegetable bodies which 
approaches to the nature and character of an animal 
nerve, cannot be doubted: for the whole molecular ar- 
rangement and organization, and all the vital operations 
and results of the vegetable, differ essentially from those 
of the animal; and therefore it is impossible that the 
organic structure and properties of any of the vege- 
etable tissues should be the same as those of the animal. 
Nevertheless it may be, and probably is true, that 
there is a tissue in vegetable bodies which in functional 
character corresponds with the nervous tissue of ani- 
mals, as nearly as the functions of vegetables and animals, 


correspond in their processes and results. Be this as 
it may however, it is entirely certain, that as the vegeta- 
ble derives its nourishment from the earth, into which its 
roots penetrate, and has none of those external relations 
which require voluntary motion, so it has none of those 
organs of external relation, which are concerned in per- 
ception, locomotion, and prehension; and has nothing 
which in structure or properties or functional character, 
corresponds with the cerebo-spinal system of nerves in 

§213. The nervous system of the human body has 
generally been considered as consisting of the brain and 
spinal marrow with their numerous cords, branches, and 
twigs, dispersed over the whole organized system: and 
these have been supposed to preside over all the varied 
operations and manifestations of life. 

§ 214. Some anatomists and physiologists have con- 
tended that, the brain is the original point of nervous 
development, from which spring, as from a grand root, 
the spinal trunk and all the branches and twigs of the 
nervous system: and these, have considered the brain as 
the great centre of nervous, as well as sensorial power; 
or as a kind of vital galvanic battery, which continually 
generates nervous energy, and distributes it through ner- 
\ous conductors, to the several organs of the body, 
according to their functional necessities; — presiding in 
this manner, alike, over all the vital functions of the 
system. The opinion which has been more generally 
entertained, however, is that, the spinal marrow is the 
grand, original centre or axis of the nervous system, and 
that the brain and all the nervous cords, branches and 
twigs of the body, spring from, and in a measure, depend 
upon it. But if either of these opinions were correct, 
then it would necessarily be true that, in the original 

122 graham's lectures on the 

development of the body, the brain or spinal marrow 
would be the first-formed portion of the system, and 
come earliest to maturity of form, size and consistency, 
and of functional character and power. For it is a law 
of nature, in the development of organized bodies, that 
those parts are first produced and brought forward to a 
functional capacity, which are most essential to the ear- 
ie st operations of the vital economy. But we know 
that, in the establishment of an economy, by which an 
animal body is to be developed, the first thing necessary, 
is 'a presiding centre: — the next thing is the blood-ves- 
sels, over the functions of which, that centre presides, and 
by which the development of all the other parts of the 
system, is effected. If therefore, the brain or spinal 
marrow were the presiding centre of vital operations, in 
the formative processes of the body, then it would 
necessarily follow that, all the branches belonging to this 
centre, would issue from it, and go out with the blood- 
vessels, to preside over their functions, in the formation of 
other parts, and to enter into the texture of parts thus 
constructed. But this is not true. So far is the brain 
or spinal marrow from being the first-formed portion of 
the system, that all the other parts of the body are form- 
ed, and considerably developed, while the brain and 
spinal marrow are yet in a fluid state, not more consis- 
tent than the white of an egg, and utterly incapable of 
exercising any functional power: — and so far are the 
nervous branches, which have been supposed to issue 
from the spinal marrow, from investing the blood-vessels 
and presiding over their functions, that they are almost 
totally distributed to the voluntary muscles and to the 
outer surface of the body. 

§ 215. But nature has not left us in the dark, on any 
of these points. Where her normal operations have 


failed to instruct us, her abnormal exploits have afford- 
ed complete demonstration. Children have been born 
without a vestige of a brain or spinal marrow: and 
I have known one instance, in which all the parts of the 
body, were regularly and healthfully developed, except 
that there was no brain, nor spinal marrow, nor even a 
trace of a spinal canal; the vertebras being entirely solid. 
Such children of course, cannot live, after respiration 
becomes necessary; because respiration, though strictly 
speaking, an involuntary function, is yet, for important 
reasons, which will be hereafter stated, immediately con- 
nected with tie nerves and muscles of animal life; or of 
voluntary motion. 

§ 216. Some distinguished physiologists, because they 
could not tear the brain and spinal marrow from the liv- 
ing animal, with out arresting the functions of organic life, 
have insisted that those organs preside over these func- 
tions. But such physiologists might have been saved 
from their error, had they considered that the assemblage 
of organs constituting the animal system, is more of a re- 
public or a confederation than an absolute monarchy; and 
that the powers of that system are so delicately adjusted 
and so nicely balanced, that, any considerable violence 
done to a particular part — and especially an impor- 
tant part — is necessarily felt as a disturbing cause, over 
the whole system; and often to. such a degree as to de- 
stroy the balance of power, and arrest all the functions of 
life, without, by any means, proving that the injured part 
is the centre of life, or that, it is the organ which presides 
over the vital functions of the system. Ten thousand 
such experiments therefore, are of no weight against the 
single fact that nature has produced a body in all other 
respects perfect, but destitute of a brain and spinal 
marrow; and yet evincing by every appearance, that its 

124 graham's lectures on the 

organic life had continued till respiration became neces- 

§217. It follows of necessity then, that, the brain and 
spinal marrow with their nervous appendages, stand 
rather in the relation of an effect than of a cause, to the 
formative and conservative operations and economy of 
the animal system: and we must therefore conclude either, 
that this economy in animals as in vegetables, has no 
apparent nervous system which presides over its func- 
tions, — or that, in animals there is an apparatus, or sys- 
tem of nerves which, so far as the internal interests of 
the economy are concerned, is independent of, and in 
the order of nature, prior to the brain and spinal marrow. 

Nerves of Organic Life. 

§218. In the human body, such a system is readily 
found. In the very midst of those parts which are known 
to be the first produced in the natural order of develop- 
ment, is a mass of nervous matter which, in composition, 
very nearly resembles the brain. (Fig. 14. a.) This 
mass which may with propriety be considered. as a spe- 
cies of brain, is undoubtedly the very first formed portion 
of the human body, and is the grand centre which pre- 
sides over all the functions concerned in the development 
and growth of the body, and the general function of nutri- 
tion, during life. 

§ 219. In close connexion with this central mass, and 
scarcely second to it in order of time, is produced the 
rudiment of a heart with a few of its principal blood- 
vessels, which gradually extend and enlarge and become 
more complex. Into all of these, as a part of their tex- 
ture, enter branches from the central mass, which thence- 
forward through life, presides, in a general manner, over all 


Fig. //. 


the functions of the sanguiferous system. Accompanying 
the blood-vessels, numerous other branches of nerves go 
out from the central brain, in different directions, and 
form other, smaller, and subordinate brains, (fig. 14. o) 
which become the more special centres of development, 
and of perception and action, to individual organs, or par- 
ticular apparatuses of organs. These subordinate brains or 
special centres, in their turn, give off numerous branches, 
some of which enter into the texture of the blood-vessels 
formed for, and appropriated to their service, in the con- 
struction of their particular organs; others are distributed 
to the contractile tissue or muscles of those organs, as the 
conductors of the stimulus of involuntary motion; others 
also, are distributed to the organs as the nerves of organic 
sensibility, or the conductors of impressions made upon 
the organs, to their special centres: and finally, in order 
to establish a more intimate connexion between the 
different special centres, and bring them all into a more 
direct relation to each other, and to the common centre, 
large cords run directly from one centre to another; and 
numerous branches go from each centre, to interlace and 
unite and form plexuses with branches coming from 
several other special centres, and from the great common 
centre. (Fig. 14. v) 

§ 220. The alimentary canal and the other organs asso- 
ciated with it in the general function of nutrition, being 
earlier in the order of development than the other parts 
of the body, (§ 174.) the special centres concerned in 
their development, and which are the more special cen- 
tres of perception and action to them during life, are the 
first of the subordinate brains which the formative econo- 
my produces. (Fig. 14. o.) At an early stage of the 
general development however, numerous fibres rise on 
each side of the central mass, which form a pair of large 

126 graham's lectures on the 

cords, called the trisplanchnic nerves, that pass upwards 
— the one on the right and the other on the left side of 
the middle line (fig. 14. s) and give rise to an elongated 
mass or an uninterrupted series of small brains, which 
gradually separate in a longitudinal direction, and draw 
farther and farther apart, — keeping up their connexion 
with each other by intermediate branches, till they form a 
connected range of about fifteen little brains, on each side, 
extending, in the fully developed body, along the spinal 
column from the bottom of the thoracic cavity, to the top 
of the neck. (Fig. 14. a\) In the progress of these 
developments, the trisplanchnic nerves (s) become di- 
vided in their upper portions into from three, to seven or 
more branches, which terminate in as many of the little 
brains in the two ranges, (x.) Eight or nine more of 
these little brains are arranged in a similar manner, on each 
side, in the abdominal cavity, so as to form, in the com- 
pletely developed body, a continued series, on each side 
of the back bone, from the base of the cranium to the infe- 
rior extremity of the spinal column. Each of these little 
brains in the two ranges, sends out numerous branches; — 
some of which serve as I have said, to unite the several 
little centres successively to each other: — others plunge 
into the muscles: — others (fig. 14. z) form connexions 
with the nerves and muscles of animal life, of which I 
shall speak hereafter. But the largest number of branch- 
es, from each of these little brains in the two ranges, go 
to interlace, and form numerous plexuses (v) with branch- 
es from others of the same, and of the opposite side, and 
from those more deeply seated among the viscera; (o) 
and from the great central mass itself, (a.) From these 
plexuses again, numerous branches are given off to the 
different organs, entering intimately into their texture. 
And all the branches and twigs of this system of nerves, 


as they proceed along their course to their destination, 
cross and unite and divide and interlace, so as to form of 
the whole system, one extended net, the meshes of 
which, become smaller and smaller, as the nerves be- 
come more and more attenuated and approach to their 
inconceivably minute termination in the organs. 

§ 221. The two ranges of little brains, with their con- 
necting cords and other branches which I have just 
described, are generally supposed by physiologists, to be 
designed to bring all the parts associated in the functions 
of organic life, into a closer union, and to establish 
between them, the most intimate and powerful sympathy: 
and therefore, they are commonly called the great sym- 
pathetic nerves. Some writers however, include under 
this denomination, all the nerves of organic life. But I 
apprehend there has been much error of opinion on this 
point. Whatever may be the anatomical knowledge con- 
cerning these nerves, which they have derived from writ- 
ten descriptions, or from dissections, most writers on 
anatomy and physiology, still speak of the brain or spinal 
marrow, as the grand centre of nervous power, which pre- 
sides, in a general manner, over all the functions of organic 
life, as well as those of animal or phrenic life; and there- 
fore, they do not seem to perceive any other use for the 
nerves of organic life, than merely to serve the purposes 
of sympathetic association. 

§222. That the two series of little brains with their 
connecting cords, &c. do serve to bring all the organs 
with which they are connected, into a closer union as a 
single system, and to establish between them a more 
powerful bond of sympathy, is, I think, undoubtedly true, 
and I consider it equally certain, that they perform other 
and very important offices. 

§ 223. Considering this whole system of nerves as that 

128 graham's lectures on the 

which presides over all the vital functions in the develop- 
ment and sustenance of the body, and the other special 
centres already described, (o) as being more immediately 
concerned in the development of the organs employed in 
the general function of nutrition, does it not legitimately 
follow from physiological analogy, as well as from anato- 
mical arrangement, that the two series which extend the 
whole length of the spinal column, (x) are more imme- 
diately concerned in the development of the spinal 
nerves, and of the cerebro-spinal system generally, and 
perhaps also, of all the other parts pertaining to the trunk 
and extremities? 

§ 224. It seems to be a general law of the vital econ- 
omy, in the development of organized bodies, that, where 
any new, subordinate centre of action is established, for 
the construction of any particular organ or apparatus,. a 
subordinate brain or nervous ganglion is produced. Eve- 
ry anatomist knows that, one of these ganglions, is found 
on each spinal nerve, near its connexion with the spinal 
marrow, (fig. 17. d) and several of them are found in 
the brain; and according to some, the spinal marrow 
itself is but a continued series of them. Now then, if 
the spinal nerves are not developed from, and by the 
spinal marrow, as the original centre of action in the 
formative process of the vital economy, but are developed 
independently of it, by functions over which the nerves 
of organic life preside, (§ 223.) where does the devel- 
opment of these nerves commence, if not at the ganglions 
near the spinal marrow ? — and is this not rendered still more 
probable by the fact, that, each of these ganglions is 
directly connected by large cords, (fig. 14. z) with one 
of the little brains of organic life, which form the ex- 
tended series along the two anterior sides of the spine (x) 
and one of which, lies very near to each of the ganglions 


of the spinal nerves, with which it is connected? There 
may he insuperable objections to this view of the subject, 
but if there are, I confess I have not yet been able to 
discern them. 

§ 225. In brief review of this whole system of nerves 
we perceive then, that, by means of cords which unite 
the several little brains (fig. 14. o, x) to the great central 
mass, (a) and those which unite the little brains to each 
other, and the numerous branches from the different 
centres, which interweave and form plexuses, (r) in every 
part of the two great cavities of the body, all of these 
centres are brought into the most intimate and powerful 
union, as a single nervous system: and then, by means of 
the numerous branches, distributed from each of these 
centres to its particular organ or organs, — and the numer- 
ous branches which pass from the several plexuses, to 
different organs, the whole assemblage of organs concerned 
in the functions of organic life, is, as it were, woven into 
one grand web of nervous tissue, and brought into a gen- 
eral and powerful communion of sympathy. (Fig. 14.) 

§226. I have said (§218.) that in composition, the 
central mass nearly resembles the proper animal brain. 
This is also true of all the special centres or subordinate 
brains. Like the proper animal brain, they are all com- 
posed of the white, and the gray nervous substance, sur- 
rounded by a vascular membrane, analogous to the pia- 
mater of that organ, (§ 272.) and an external envelope 
of dense cellular tissue. They have the closest resem- 
blance to, and indeed, seem to be but repetitions of the 
brain of some of the lower animals: and they undoubtedly 
perform many of the functions of a brain; — acting as cen- 
tres, to all necessary extent, in their appropriate spheres, 
both in receiving impressions from, and in dispensing 
nervous powers to their special domains. — In the nomen- 


130 Graham's lectures on the 

clature of anatomy however, these bodies are termed 
ganglions or knots. The great central mass which is 
situated at the roots of the diaphragm, in the upper and 
back part of the abdominal cavity, or nearly back of the 
pit of the stomach, consists of several parts. 1. Two 
semicircular bodies about an inch long and half an inch 
broad, lying one on the right, and the other on the left 
side of the backbone. These are called the semilunar 
ganglions. (Fig. 14. a.) They are probably at first, 
united in a single mass, and afterwards partially separated 
to accommodate themselves to the duplicate arrangement 
of the human body. (§ 281.) They however remain 
closely connected by many large branches which pass 
from one to the other, and form what is called the solar 
plexus, (e.) These two semilunar ganglions, united 
by the solar plexus, constitute the grand centre of all 
the ganglions and plexuses of organic life. Surrounding 
this great centre, as I have said, (§ 219.) and united to it 
by cords and plexuses, are the numerous special centres 
which subordinately preside over particular functions. 
These, and the ganglions that range along the two sides 
of the back bone, are much smaller than the semilunar 
ganglions, and are of an irregular ovate form. 

§ 227. The ganglions of organic life, are, in the de- 
scriptions of anatomy, divided into two orders, called the 
central and the peripheral or limiting ganglions. The 
central (o) are those which are more deeply seated 
among the viscera, and which are supposed to preside 
generally, and specially, over the functions concerned in 
nourishing and sustaining the body: — the peripheral or 
limiting (x) are those which form the two ranges, on the 
sides of the spinal column, and have been supposed to 
be more particularly appropriated to the general sym- 
pathies of the internal system, and are accordingly called 
the sympathetic nerves. (§221.) 


§ 228. This general system of nerves, consisting of 
a common centre, and many special, and subordinate cen- 
tres, with their numerous cords, branches, plexuses, &c. 
(§ 225.) is sometimes called the ganglionic system. 
And, because these nerves preside over all the functions 
common to animals and vegetables, (§ 208.) and, in 
health, without the consciousness of the animal, they are 
also called the nerves of vegetative life: — but they are 
most commonly denominated the nerves of organic 
life, in contra-distinction to the brain and spinal marrow 
with their branches, &c. which are called the nerves 

OF ANIMAL LIFE. (Fig. 16.) 

§ 229. There seems however, to be little propriety 
in calling these latter, the nerves of animal life, for they 
have no independent life peculiar to themselves, nor are 
they directly and immediately concerned in maintaining 
the common life of the body. Their functions may be 
entirely suspended for a considerable time and still the 
common vitality of the body be preserved. Andrew 
Wallace, a surviving Revolutionary veteran, now over a 
hundred years old* and remarkably vigorous and active, 
was struck down by lightning, while tending a cannon on 
the fourth of July, soon after the close of the American 
Revolution, and lay seventeen days in a state of sus- 
pended consciousness or animation: and a youth now 
living in Philadelphia once lay twenty-eight days in this 
condition. But a single moment's entire suspension of 
the functions of the nerves of organic life, would be a 
death from which there can be no resuscitation. The 
brain and spinal marrow with their nervous appendages are 
also, sometimes called the phrenic nerves, as being the 
more immediate and exclusive organs and instruments of 
the mind: but they are perhaps most commonly and 

* Wallace has since died at the age of one hundred and five years. 

132 graham's lectures on the 

most properly called the cerbro-spinal system of 


§ 230. Of the nerves of organic life, there are three 
orders, (§219.) First, according to nature, those that 
enter into the texture of the blood-vessels, and other por- 
tions of the vascular system, and go with them in all 
their ramifications, to their most minute terminations in 
the different tissues, and preside over all their functions 
of absorption, circulation, secretion, structure, &c. &c; 
— second, those that go to the contractile tissue, or mus- 
cles of involuntary motion, in the texture of the organs, 
and convey to them, the stimulus of motion: — third, 
those that are distributed to the organs, as the nerves of 
organic sensation, and which convey to the special centres, 
and, if necessary, to the common centre, (§ 226.) the 
impressions, made upon the organs. The cords which 
serve to connect the special centres to the common cen- 
tre, and to each other, are probably composed of filaments 
of all these three orders. 

§ 231 . In this distribution of the nerves of organic life, 
each organ is supplied according to the nature of its func- 
tion, and its relative importance in the system. The 
heart, which in its rudimental state, lies near the great 
ganglionic centre, (§ 219.) and which, with its vessels, is 
first employed in constructing the alimentary canal and 
the organs associated with it in the general function of 
nutrition, (§ 220.) is gradually removed, farther and far- 
ther from the centre, as the several parts of the system 
become developed and enlarged. Composed of tissues 
peculiarly susceptible to the action of their appropriate 
stimuli, and simply employed under vital control, as a 
mechanical power, to circulate the blood, without effect- 
ing any changes in it, the heart seems to require, and to 
possess but few nerves. All this is likewise true of the 


large blood-vessels. But in the capillary system, or 
minute extremities of the vessels, where all the important 
changes take place, the nerves much more largely abound. 
But as I shall have occasion to speak of ihe tissues of 
the several organs, when I come to treat of their functions, 
it is not necessary to enter into particular details here. 
I will therefore, at present, only observe that, of all the 
organs of the body, the stomach is the most remarkable 
for its nervous endowments, and for its functional and 
sympathetic relations. Lying near the great ganglionic 
centre, it receives a large supply of nerves directly from 
that source, and is thereby brought into the closest sym- 
pathetic union with the common centre of organic life, 
and through it, with all the organs and parts in its domain. 
By the arrangement and distributions of plexuses also, 
the stomach is brought into very direct relations with the 
heart, liver, lungs, and all the other organs. 

The Cerebro- Spinal Nerves. 

§ 232. I have already stated (§214.) that it has been 
a prevailing opinion among physiologists, that the spinal 
marrow is the grand nervous axis or original centre, from 
which spring all the other parts of the whole nervous 
system belonging to the human body, and that it, in a 
general manner, presides over all the formative processes 
in the organic development, and all the functions of the 
vital economy, during life. But we have seen (§215.) 
that, these opinions cannot be true, because the brain 
and spinal marrow are among the last-formed portions of 
the body, and every other part of the body may be, and 
actually has been completely developed without them. 

33. The cerebro-spinal nerves therefore, together 
with the muscles of voluntary motion, and the bones of 

134 graham's lectures on the 

the head, and upper, and lower extremities, are purely 
and exclusively organs of external relation, and are, to no 
extent, directly and effectively concerned in the original 
formation and development of the body ; nor in its per- 
manent economy of nutrition and general sustenence; 
nor are they in any manner, or degree, essential to the 
life of the body, until respiration and deglutition become 
necessary. The introduction of proper external sub- 
stances into the lungs and stomach, and the voluntary 
evacuations of excrementitious matter, are the only 
immediate duties which they have to perform, and the 
only direct agency which they have to exercise, in 
all the complicated processes of the general function of 

§ 234. The nerves of organic life then, presiding wholly 
and exclusively over all the formative processes of organic 
development, and the cerebro-spinal system being as 
purely and entirely passive in those processes, as the 
cartilages and ligaments, it necessarily follows that the 
organic system is not developed, either from the brain, 
or spinal marrow, as the original centre of development 
and point of unity to the formative economy, but the 
several parts may be, and in fact, are originally formed, 
in a measure independently of each other, having at first 
no other connexion than that which is formed by the 
nerves of organic life, (§ 230.) and by the common system 
of blood-vessels, by which they are all constructed. As 
the development of the separate parts progresses, they 
become more and more nearly associated, and finally, 
become closely and permanently connected, forming of 
the whole assemblage, a single system of organs, and 
establishing by their combined functions, a single vital 
economy, by which the individual is sustained and the 
species perpetuated. 


§235. The cerebrospinal nerves therefore, instead 
of springing from the brain, or spinal marrow, or any 
other common centre, originate with the parts to which 
they belong, and in the progress of the general devel- 
opment, become permanently connected with the spinal 
and cerebral centres. Some modern physiologists indeed, 
contend that, the nerves of organic life, as well as those 
of the cerebrospinal system, originate in the extremities 
of the parts to which they belong, and terminate in the 
centre; and that, the formative processes by which or- 
ganic bodies are developed, are, both in vegetables and 
animals, effected by a species of vital force, which does 
not depend on any nervous system; and consequently 
that the several parts of the body with all their tissues, 
may be, and probably are originally formed without any 
connexion with each other, as so many distinct individual 
beings; and, in the progress of development, become 
united in a single system. But this is both contrary to 
fact and to every sound physiological principle and anal- 
ogy. Whether vegetables have nerves or not, we know 
that, the economy by which they are developed has a 
punclum saliens, a single starting point; and that, in all its 
processes, this is the grand point of unity — the general 
centre of action: and we know with equal certainty, that, 
this is also true, in the development of animal bodies. 
A grand centre of unity and of action, is^first established, 
and this is maintained with strictest integrity, throughout 
the whole progress of development. This centre I have 
said, (§ 226.) is the central brain of the nerves of organic 
life, consisting, in the fully developed body, of the semi- 
lunar ganglions and solar plexus ; and from this common cen- 
tre, all the subordinate centres with their connecting cords, 
branches, &c. are developed, by the blood-vessels over 
which these nerves preside (§ 219.) and which in all stages 

136 graham's lectures on the 

of the general development, have also a common centre 
or heart, from which they all receive their blood. There 
must of necessity, therefore, be an entire unity, in the 
formative economy by which animal bodies are developed, 
so far as the nerves of organic life and the blood-vessels 
are considered. But different portions of these, acting 
by special centres, in a subordinate manner, as I have al- 
ready described, (§219.) may, and in fact, do commence at 
different points, the structure of different parts, in a measure 
independent of each other, — just as ossification commen- 
ces simultaneously at many different points, which have 
no immediate connexion with, nor dependence upon 
each other, while at the same time, they all depend on a 
single economy, acting from a common centre. In this 
manner, the cerebro-spinal nerves, instead of being de- 
veloped in unity from a common centre, originate in sev- 
eral parts, and by subsequent connexion, constitute a sin- 
gle system. Hence, as we have seen, (§215.) the spinal 
nerves may be developed, without a spinal marrow, and, 
as is frequently the case, the spinal nerves and marrow 
may be developed without a brain; and we are told that, 
there have been instances in which the brain has been 
developed without a spinal marrow. 

§ 236. The natural order of development in the cere- 
bro-spinal system of nerves, in the human body, is probably 
as follows: — 1. The spinal nerves, or those which are 
commonly described as arising from the spinal marrow. 
The development of these, as I have said, (§ 224.) 
probably, commences at the ganglions near the spine. 
(Fig. 17. d.) — 2. The spinal marrow itself. 3. Those 
ganglions of the brain, which are common to the lower 
orders of the vertebrated animals, and which are essen- 
tial to the functions of taste, smell, hearing, and sight, to- 
gether with the special nerves by which these functions 


//./. IS 


/vy . h; 


are performed. — 4. The ganglions which more particu- 
larly belong to those portions of the brain which constitute 
the more immediate and special organism of the mental 
and moral faculties; and 5. The cerebral hemispheres 
themselves. I do not mean to be understood however, 
that, each preceding part is fully developed before the 
succeeding one is commenced; but that the natural order 
in which the development of these several parts com- 
mences, is such as I have described. 

§ 237. Having thus pointed out the natural order of 
development, I shall now, proceed to a more particular 
description of the several parts, of the cerebro-spinal 
system of nerves; not in the order in which they are 
developed but as they present themselves to the eye of 
the anatomist in the dissections of the dead body; because 
this is the usual manner of describing them and therefore 
will probably be more readily understood. 

§ 238. The spinal marrow (fig. 16. E E E) is that soft 
substance which lies in the hollow of the back-bone. (§ ISO. 
182.) To a careless observer, it appears to be a common 
mass of marrow : but when carefully and properly examin- 
ed, it is found to be composed of the white and the gray 
nervous substances: (§ 161.) the gray being situated 
internally, somewhat like a series of ganglions, and sur- 
rounded by the white. It is naturally divided, longitudi- 
nally, into a right and left half: — each of which, consists 
of a front and back column: — so that, the whole marrow 
is composed of four columns, or rather of two corre- 
sponding pairs; as the two front portions correspond with 
each other in form and character; and the two back 
portions correspond with each other in like manner; — 
thus constituting a double spinal marrow, — as if the two 
halves of the body, had a distinct and independent exist- 
ence; which, indeed, so far as the spinal marrow and its 

138 Graham's lectures on the 

nerves are concerned, is really the case. For, as we 
shall see, the whole of one side may be paralyzed while 
the other remains in the full possession of its powers. 

§ 239. The spinal marrow is enveloped in» three dif- 
ferent membranes. — The first, which everywhere closely 
adheres to it, is full of blood-vessels that are supposed to 
nourish it, and hence the membrane is called the piu-ma- 
ter, or natural mother. The second, called the arach- 
noid or spider's-web membrane, is extremely thin, and 
is continually moistened by its own serous exhalation. 
The third, or external one, which may properly be 
considered the lining membrane of the bony cavity or 
canal, is a strong fibrous membrane, like that which every- 
where surrounds the bones: and some anatomists think 
this a continuation of the periostium. It is here, however, 
called the dura-mater, or hard mother. These mem- 
branes are all three composed of the cellular tissue. 

§ 240. Connected with the spinal marrow, through 
small intervertebral openings formed for the purpose, on 
each side of the spinal canal, are thirty pairs of nerves, 
which are called the spinal nerves. (Fig 16. Nos. 2. 3. 
4. 5. 6.) Each of these nerves consists of numerous 
filaments, surrounded by the pia-mater, and an external 
envelope of strong cellular membrane, resembling the dura- 
mater, and which, some anatomists consider a continuation 
of the dura-mater; but others are of a different opinion. 

§241. As the cerebro-spinal nerves on each side of 
the middle line, or in each half of the body, are precisely 
alike, it is most convenient to describe them on one side 
only. I shall therefore adopt this method, and I wish it 
to be understood that, when I speak of a single nerve it 
is one of a pair, — the corresponding one being on the 
opposite side. 



§ 242. According to Sir Charles Bell, Magendie and 
others, a part of the filaments which compose each spinal 
nerve, rise from [or terminate in] the back portion, and a 
part from the front portion of the spinal marrow. (Fig. 
17.) Those which rise from the back portion, (6) almost 
immediately run into a ganglion, (d) and proceeding 

Fig. 17. 

A section of the spinal 
marrow, showing the con- 
nexion between it and the 
spinal nerves by double 

a, spinal marrow. 

b, root of spinal nerve 
from back portion. 

c, root from front por- 

d, ganglion on the pos- 
terior part. 

e, the two parts united 
in one cord. 

from this, they unite with those that come from the front 
portion (c) and form the cord (e) which goes out to be 
dispersed over the body. But in entering into the forma- 
tion of the cord, the filaments retain their filamentary 
form and original character, and are again, ultimately, 
separated. The filaments which rise from [or terminate 
in] the back portion of the spinal marrow, are the nerves 
of animal sensation. Some few of these are distributed 
to the muscles of voluntary motion, and endow those 
organs with a small degree of animal sensibility, by which 
the mind is informed of the action of the muscles in 
obedience to the will, and enabled to regulate the extent 
of the action. The rest of the posterior filaments, pro- 
ceed to the outer skin of the body, and by endowing it 
with a high degree of animal sensibility, constitute it, a 

140 graham's lectures on the 

general organ of touch; — which is the fundamental animal 
faculty of external relation. They however abound more 
in some parts than in others; — making particular portions 
of the body, the more special organs of touch. In man, 
the ends of the fingers are pre-eminently qualified for 
this function. 

§ 243. The filaments which arise from [or terminate 
in] the front portion of the spinal marrow, are the nerves 
of motion. They are all distributed to the muscles of vol- 
untary motion, (§194.) ramifying in great numbers over the 
whole of this part of the muscular system, and penetra- 
ting to the smallest muscular filaments. These convey 
the stimulus or influence of the will, to the voluntary 
muscles, causing them to contract in obedience to the 
will, in the performance of voluntary motions. — If there- 
fore, the filaments from the back portion of the spinal 
marrow, be separated from that centre, the animal sensi- 
bility of the parts to which they are distributed, is im- 
mediately destroyed, or in other words, the animal centre 
of perception has no longer cognizance of any sensations 
or affections in those parts; yet the power of voluntary 
motion will remain. But if the filaments from the front 
portion of the spinal marrow, be separated from that 
centre, the power of voluntary motion of the parts to 
which they are distributed, will be lost, while the sensi- 
bility will remain. 

The Medulla Oblongata. 

§ 244. The same column of nervous matter, which, 
in the hollow of the back-bone, is called the spinal mar- 
row, continues upward, and passing through a large fora- 
men or opening in the base of the skull, extends about 
an inch into the cranium. (Fig. 7. g.) Near its entrance 


into the skull, according to Meckel and others, its two 
lateral parts divide into several fasciculi or cords, which 
cross obliquely, so that, those from the right side take 
the left, and those from the left, take the right: and, at 
the same time, they are enlarged by the addition of masses 
of gray substance. (§ 161 .) The head of the spinal mar- 
row is now divided into six parts, or three pairs of bodies: 
(fig. 18. M) two corresponding ones in front, (h) called 
the pyramidal bodies; — two corresponding ones behind, 
called the restiform bodies: and two corresponding 
ones at the sides, (i) called the olivary bodies. These 
last, are principally composed of the gray substance, 
surrounded by a thin layer of the white. Besides the 
parts which I have described, there is, according to Sir 
Charles Bell, a convex strip of medullary matter, lying 
between the restiform and olivary bodies, and extending 
down, between the anterior and posterior portions of the 
spinal marrow, (§ 238.) which gives origin to the several 
nerves particularly associated in the function of respiration. 
(Fig. 15.) These three or four pairs of bodies, are so 
united as to form a single bulb, about one inch in length 
and about two thirds of an inch in diameter and commonly 
called the Medulla Oblongata. (Fig. 18. M.) 

§ 245. From the sides of this bulb, rise several pairs 
of nerves, and from its top, all the other parts within the 
cranium, which I will briefly describe in order, from be- 
low upwards. 

In the region of the neck, a number of branches and 
filaments, from several different nerves, unite to form a 
nerve which descends to the diaphragm and is concerned 
in the function of respiration. (Fig. 15. No. 12.) In 
its course from its origin to its termination, it gives off 
twigs which go to different parts, and unite with twigs 
from the ganglionic nerves of the neck, with branches 

142 graham's lectures on THE 

from the solar plexus, and with other important nerm 
This nerve belongs to that portion of the respiratory 
apparatus, which ordinarily acts without the agency of the 
will, but which the will can act directly upon, and to a 
limited extent, control.- — The next nerve above, called 
the spinal accessory, (fig. 15. Nos. 10. 11.) has an ex- 
tended origin. Some of its roots arise from the lower 
part of the marrow of the neck, others from the middle, 
and others from the upper part of the same region. These 
all enter the skull with the spinal marrow, and after receiving 
three or four roots from the medulla oblongata, unite to form 
a cord which passes out at a small opening in the base of the 
skull, and is distributed to the muscles of the neck concern- 
ed in moving the breast and collar bones and shoulder blade, 
and in drawing back the head and shoulders. This is 
one of Sir Charles Bell's respiratory nerves; and accor- 
ding to that distinguished anatomist, both this and the 
diaphragmatic nerve spring from the middle strip of 
medullary matter, which I have named. — Of those nerves 
which have their origin entirely within the skull, the 
lowest is called the hypoglossal. It arises by a series of 
roots, from the groove between the pyramidal and olivary 
bodies, and passes out at another small aperture in the 
base of the skull, and after giving off twigs in several 
directions, and receiving twigs from other nerves, it 
divides into many branches which are distributed to the 
muscles of the tongue, imparting to them the power of vol- 
untary motion in mastication, swallowing, speaking, sing- 
ing, &c. (Fig- 15- No. 9.) The nerve next in order 
above, is called the pneumo-gastric, or the lungs-and-stom- 
ach nerve. (Fig. 15. Nos. 1 — 6.) It arises by numerous 
roots, very near the top of the medulla oblongata, and ac- 
cording to Sir Charles Bell, from the respiratory strip be- 
tween the resliform and olivary bodies. It issues from the 



skull with the spinal accessory : and by numerous branches 
and twigs, forms connexions and plexuses with almost every 
nerve in the region of the throat and neck, and thoracic cavi- 
ty, to such an extent, that it has been called the middle sym- 
pathetic. It sends branches to the pharynx or top of the 
meatpipe and to the meatpipe itself, (2.) to the larynx or 
organ of voice at the top of the windpipe, and to the 
windpipe, in all its branches, and whole extent. — It also 
sends branches which unite with others from the cervical 
ganglions of the sympathetic, to form what is called the 
cardiac plexus, (5.) and at the bottom of the neck, it sends 
back a recurrent branch to the larynx and windpipe and 
other adjacent parts: (3.) and these different branches in- 
terweave and unite in every direction so as to bring the 
organs of the throat and neck into very direct and impor- 
tant relations. Several branches of this nerve also enter 
into the formation of plexuses for the lungs: (4.) and some 
twigs extend to the solar plexus, to the plexus of the 
liver, spleen, &c: but the main body of this nerve 
descends to the stomach (6.) and is distributed over that 
organ, interweaving and uniting extensively with the 
nerves which come from the solar plexus — the great 
centre of organic life. 

§ 246. This nerve has been the subject of more 
speculation and experiment and discussion and contro- 
versy among physiologists, than perhaps any other portion 
of the human system. Some, as I have stated, have 
considered it the middle sympathetic nerve, the office 
of which, is to maintain a direct sympathy between all 
the parts to which it belongs, and especially between the 
brain and stomach. — Some have supposed that it is sim- 
ply the medium by which the want of air in the lungs and 
of food in the stomach, is communicated to the animal 
centre of perception and action. — Others, that it conveys 

144 Graham's lectures on the 

to the lungs and stomach, the nervous energy by which 
those organs are enabled to digest the inspired air and 
the ingested food. — Some have considered it an animal 
nerve; and others a vegetative nerve. — Some have 
thought it wholly a nerve of sensation and others, that 
it is both a nerve of sensation and motion, — and others 
again, contend that it is exclusively a nerve of motion. — 
It has been tied and cut and experimented on in various 
ways, and with various results, in the minds of the 
experimenters, according to their particular theories. 
Some assert that if it be cut or tied, digestion, respiration 
and the action of the heart are entirely arrested, while 
others contend that digestion is only temporarily interrupt- 
ed, and respiration is arrested only by the closing of the top 
of the windpipe; and that the action of the heart may he 
restored by artificial respiration. But in all these experi- 
ments, the sympathies of the system seem to have been 
wholly overlooked. (§206. 216.) Sir Charles Bell 
tells us that it is exclusively a respiratory nerve, and that it 
immediately or remotely, associates all the parts to which 
it is distributed, in the function of respiration. 

§247. Amidst such a wilderness of discrepant opin- 
ions and statements, it is impossible to decide from their 
authority, where the truth lies; but there are several 
important considerations which should ever be kept in 
view, when we attempt to arrive at a conclusion on this 
vexed question. In the first place T this is a large nerve 
issuing from very near the top of the medulla oblongata; 
— a point towards which, all other parts in the body 
below and in the skull above, seem to converge. — In the 
second place, it not only anastamoses, or forms con- 
nexions, by numerous branches, with several other nerves 
issuing from the cranium, but also anastamoses freely, 
and even forms plexuses with the nerves of organic life, 


from the cervicle and thoracic ganglions of the sympa- 
thetic. In the third place, the main body of this nerve, 
proceeds very directly to, and expends itself upon the 
stomach, as if that organ were its grand point of destina- 
tion, and all its other distributions, secondary or of less 
importance. (Fig- 15- No. 6.) It is said to send some 
branches to the heart, but all those branches are first 
merged in plexuses with nerves of organic life, and few, if 
any of them, reach the heart, even in a modified form. 
Those branches which go to the substance of the lungs, 
are also, much involved in anastomoses, and plexuses, 
and perhaps, considerably modified by other nerves, 
before they reach their destination. In the fourth place, 
some filaments of this nerve extend to the great centre 
of organic life, or solar plexus, (§ 226.) and the plexuses 
immediately formed from it and surrounding it. Would 
this be the case, if it were simply a motor nerve? In the 
fifth place, it is pretty certain that, those branches of this 
nerve, which are distributed to the pharynx and larynx, 
and the muscular portion of the windpipe, are nerves of 
voluntary motion: and that, the section, or paralysis of 
them destroys the vocal power and the power of deglu- 
tition, or swallowing: — and it is entirely certain that, the 
will has no direct control over that large portion of this 
nerve which is distributed to the stomach: nor is there 
the least reason to suppose it has, over those branches 
which reach the substance of the lungs. Moreover, it 
is very certain that in the stomach, the pneumogastric is 
not a nerve of common animal sensibility or feeling: 
while its branches in the lining membrane of the larynx 
and windpipe, appear to be highly sensible. Finally; the 
special sense of hunger and of thirst and the well-known, 
direct and powerful sympathy that exists between the 
brain and the stomach, seem to require the agency which 

146 graham's lectures on the 

has long been attributed to this nerve. Indeed, it appears 
to occupy a middle ground between the nerves ol organ- 
ic and animal life; and, if such a thing can be, I am 
inclined to think that, in its origin, it is an animal nerve 
of sensation an i motion ; nd after forming its great 
plexus, and becoming intimately associated with the 
nerves of organic life, it becomes an animo-organic nerve 
of the same powers, giving motion, perhaps, to the bron- 
chia? and certain motions to the stomach, which take place 
in vomiting, &c. and constituting the medium by which 
the centre of animal perception has cognizance of those 
wants of the organic domain, which are indicated by hun- 
ger, thirst and the desire for air; and by which also, the 
brain and stomach and other parts associated by this 
nerve, are brought into more direct and powerful sympa- 
thy with each other. Something very analogous to this 
is found in the trifacial nerve, if it be true that that nerve 
endows the tongue with gustatory powe \ But, what- 
ever the pneumogastric nerve may have to do with the 
motions, sensibilities and sympathies of the stomach and 
lungs, the general law of physiological analogy teaches 
us that, it is not directly and immediately concerned in 
the important changes which take place in them, — these 
depending entirely on the vital properties and functional 
powers of the nerves of organic life, connected with 
the capillary vessels of those organs. (§ 230.) 

§ 248. The next nerve in order, is called the glosso- 
pharangeal — or tongue-and-pliarynx nerve. (Fig. 15. 
No. 8.) It rises by numerous filaments from the groove 
between the restiform and olivary bodies, immediately 
above or before the pneumogastric, and passes out of 
the cranium with the latter nerve. Indeed, some anato- 
mists think it actually forms a part of the pneumogastric. 
Sir Charles Bell classes it among his respiratory nerves. 


— On its exit from the skull, it gives oft" several branches 
which unite with other nerves and supply many parts in 
the region of the throat: but it is mainly distributed to 
the pharynx and tongue. According to Sir Charles, it 
gives motion to the muscles of the tongue and pharynx: 
and more especially those, necessary for the articulation 
of the voice. — Spurzheim on the contrary, says " this 
nerve appears to be destined to general sensation or feel- 
ing. Another nerve rises immediately above and on the 
same line with the one just described, which is called 
the facial nerve. It passes out at an opening near 
the ear, and is principally distributed. to the muscles of 
the face; — being dispersed over the chin, lips, angles 
of the mouth, cheeks, nostrils, eyelids, eyebrows, 
forehead, ears, neck, &c. and uniting in its rami- 
fications, with the branches and twigs of several other 
nerves.— (Fig. 15. No. 7.) This is another of Sir 
Charles Bell's respiratory nerves : and according to him, 
it is the principal muscular or motor nerve of the face, 
and orders all those actions which are, in any degree, 
connected with the acts of respiration: and on it the 
expressions of the face depend. — The next nerve is 
called the abductor, or external muscular nerve of the eye. 
It rises from the top of the pyramidal body, and passes 
out at an opening in the back part of the cavity formed 
for the eyeball, and goes to the muscles which turn the 
eye outward. This nerve is entirely appropriated to 
voluntary motion. (Fig. 18. No. 6.) There are six 
other pairs of nerves — including those of special sense, 
which originate within the cranium, and all of which, 
actually rise, either directly or indirectly, from the top of 
the medulla oblongata: but their roots are so covered by 
other parts — or, they originate in a manner so difluse and 

148 graham's lectures on the 

indistinct, that they have the appearance of springing 
from parts removed from that point. 

§ 249. In describing the remaining nerves, I shall 
deviate from the usual order, and proceed in a method 
of my own, for the sake of placing important points in 
the strongest light, with reference to physiological rela- 
tions. The nerve which next presents itself" as we pro- 
ceed forwards, is the auditory, (fig. 18. No. 8.) and 
the next is the trifacial: — (fig. 18. No. 5.) both of 
which, I shall leave for the present, and pass to the two 
remaining muscular nerves of the eye. — The internal 
motor nerve of -the eye, is the smallest that originates 
within the cranium. (Fig. 18. No. 4.) It is the highest 
of Sir Charles Bell's respiratory nerves, and according 
to that gentleman, it rises from the very top of the 
medullary strip which gives origin to all of the nerves of 
the respiratory apparatus (§ 244.) and which termin- 
ates upwards and forwards, just under the masses called 
the corpora quadrigemini. This nerve passes out of the 
skull, with the nerve last described, and goes to the 
superior oblique muscle of the eye, which rolls the eye 
and turns the pupil downward and outward, and gives 
the pathetic expression to the eye, and hence this nerve 
is called the pathetic. The common motor nerve 
of the eye (fig. 18. No. 3.) rises by numerous fila- 
ments, which may be traced back nearly to the top of 
the medulla oblongata, and are then lost in parts coming 
from that point. The filaments soon unite and form the 
nerve, which passes out at the same opening with the last 
two described nerves, and is distributed to the greater 
number of the muscles of the eye, which serve to direct 
the pupil towards the objects of vision. 

§ 250. The nerves which remain to be described, are 
those of special sense, and the trifacial. All these 


have their origin at, or near the focal point, at the head 
oi' the medulla oblongata, from which all the parts within 
the cranium rise and diverge. This, it must be remem- 
bered however, is according to the usual mode of anatom- 
ical description, rather than according to the natural 
order of development. It is highly probable if not cer- 
tain, as I have said, (§ 236.) that the parts within the 
skull, do not actually spring from the medulla oblongata, 
but that, the cerebral ganglions, such as the quadrigeminal, 
the ophthalmic and the striated bodies are first formed, or 
commenced, in regular order of succession, and in due 
time, united with the medulla oblongata and with each 
other, by medullary fibres, and that from these are devel- 
oped the parts more particularly connected- with them. 
The quadrigeminal bodies are four small ganglions lying 
at the top of the medulla oblongata. A little removed 
from these, are the two largest ganglions of the brain, 
called by the old anatomists the optic thalami, being 
supposed to give rise to the optic nerves : and still a little 
removed from these last, are two smaller ganglions called 
the striated bodies. All of these bodies are principally 
composed of the gray substance, (§ 161.) surrounded and 
traversed by the white or medullary fibres; and all lie 
near the centre and base of the brain, and occupy but 
a small portion of the cranial cavity. 

§251. Anatomists have attempted to demonstrate the 
pecise points at which the olfactory, optic and auditory 
nerves rise from these bodies: — but no one has yet been 
so successful as to place the matter entirely beyond dis- 
pute. As these nerves are traced backward and inward 
towards their origin, they become less and less distinct, 
and more and more indefinite, till they fade into the sub- 
stance of the parts from which they rise, and evade pur- 
suit: and this is particularly the case with the optic and 

150 graham's lectures on the 

olfactory nerves. Indeed, all these nerves appear to have 
a general relation to all the parts rising from, or termi- 
nating in, the common centre of animal perception and 
voluntary action, at the top of the medulla oblongata. 

§ 252. The auditory nerves, (fig. 18. No. 8.) are en- 
dowed with the power of receiving those impressions 
which we call sounds, and are distributed to the inner 
cavities of the ear as the special nerves of hearing. The 
olfactory nerves are endowed with the power of receiving 
those impressions which we call smell. They proceed 
forwards, and before they make their exit from the skull, 
they are considerably enlarged by a quantity of the gray 
substance. (Fig. 18. No. 1.) They then pass out through 
a number of small apertures, and are distributed over the 
cavities of the nose, forming the external organ of smell. 
The optic nerves proceed forwards a short distance from 
their origin, and then come together and form a junction, 
and again immediately separate, and continue forwards, 
and make their exit from the skull through the optic fora- 
men, and having passed through the outer coats of the 
eyeballs, they finally terminate in a delicate expansion, 
called the retina, which surrounds the humors of the eye. 
(Fig. 18. No. 2.) The nature of the union which these 
nerves form at their junction, is yet a matter of uncertainty. 
Anatomists and physiologists not only disagree on the 
subject, but in their arguments and in their statements of 
facts, directly contradict each other. Some assert that 
the two nerves cross each other entirely, so that, the 
nerve which rises on the right side, goes to the left eye, 
and that which rises on the left side goes to the right 
eye. These support their opinion by an array of patho- 
logical and other facts and reasonings, which are very 
convincing and conclusive. But others assert that there 
is only a junction and no crossing of the nerves, and that 


even the junction is not essential to their functional pow- 
ers. These again, by facts and reasonings, make out 
their case, as clearly and as conclusively as those of the 
former opinion; — while yet others contend that there is 
a partial decussation, and establish their position most 
conclusively by facts and reasonings; — and still others, 
with equal force of facts and arguments, prove that there 
is no decussation, but an intimate and essential union of 
the substance of the nerves. From such contradictory 
statements, it is impossible to know what is true: but we 
have the satisfaction of knowing that whatever be true in 
the case, it is of little importance to physiology. The 
optic nerve is endowed with the power of receiving those 
impressions which we call sight. It is the special nerve 
of vision, and is always present where the faculty of vision 

§ 253. The peculiar endowments of the nerves of 
special sense, are generally considered as modifications 
of common animal sensibility; but there is some reason to 
doubt the correctness of this opinion. It is certain that 
these nerves, at least in a healthy state, have no tactile 
sensibility. The optic nerve is no more sensible to a 
puncture or laceration, than a dead tree, but it is most 
delicately sensible to light, which we can in no other 
possible manner appreciate nor perceive. Nor is there 
the least foundation for the notion which some have 
advanced, that other nerves may in some degree, vicari- 
ously perform the functions of these nerves, in their 
absence. Indeed, the sense of touch is in all respects, as 
truly a special sense as that of sight, hearing, smell or 
taste. It is much more extensive in its special organism, 
than any other sense, only because the relations of the 
animal to the tangible properties of things, require that it 
should be so; but the extensiveness of its organism does 

152 graham's lectures on the 

not in any measure, render the sense less specific. If 
the optic nerve, instead of being expanded into the retina 
of the eyeball, were expanded like the skin, over the 
whole external surface of the body, so that the animal 
could see, as he can feel, at every point, the optic sense 
would be no less a special sense than it now is: because 
the speciality of a sense does not consist in the limitedness 
of its peculiar organism, but in the specijic/icss of its 
power. The sense, of sight is a special sense, not because 
we can only see with the eye, but because we can only 
perceive special properties of external things by it, which 
we call the visual properties of things: and so of all the 
other senses called special. But the sense of touch is 
as specific in its power as either of the other senses; for 
by it, we can only perceive the tangible properties of 
things, and therefore, it is the special sense of touch not- 
withstanding the faculty pervades the whole body. 

§ 254. I now return to the trifacial nerve, or the fifth of 
the old anatomists. This is the largest nerve within the 
cranium, and in many respects, corresponds with the spi- 
nal nerves. Like them it rises by two roots, — has a 
ganglion, and is both a nerve of sensation and motion. 
(Fig. 18. No. 5.) In birds and other animals which have 
no annular protuberance, this nerve is plainly seen, rising 
from the pyramidal and restiform bodies of the medulla ob- 
longata; but in man and other animals which have a large 
annular protuberance, the origin of the nerve is not so 
easily perceived. The posterior root of this nerve, 
coming from the restiform body, is much the larger, and 
is composed of thirty or forty fasciculi of different sizes, 
containing in all, about a hundred filaments, which inter- 
lace freely as they proceed forward to form the semicir- 
cular prominence or enlargement called the gasserian 
ganglion. This portion of the nerve is endowed with 


animal sensibility. The anterior portion which arises 
from the pyramidal body does not enter the ganglion. 
This is the motor portion of the nerve, and is ultimately 
distributed to those muscles of the face, concerned in 
mastication, &c. From the gasserian ganglion the nerve 
proceeds in three large branches; called the ophthalmic — 
the superior maxillary and the inferior maxillary. (Fig. L6. 
No. 1.1.1.) The ophthalmic is principally distributed to 
the eye, giving sensibility to the surface of the ball and the 
parts that surround it, sending some twigs to the nose, &c. 
The superior maxillary is distributed to the upper part 
of the face, upper jaw, roof of the mouth, superior 
salivary glands, gum, lip, &c, — sending a twig to each 
root of each tooth, (fig. 23.) and ramifying generally, 
over all the parts connected with the upper jaw; some 
twigs extending to the cavities of the nose and interlacing 
with twigs of the olfactory. The inferior maxillary is 
distributed to the lower parts of the face, mouth, and 
region of the ear; supplying the teeth, jaw, gum, inferior 
salivary glands, tongue, lips, chin, &c, and some of its 
tw r igs extend to the internal auditory apparatus of the ear. 
The inferior maxillary, also gives rise to the branch which, 
after peculiar modifications, is endowed with the power 
of receiving those impressions which we call taste, and 
is distributed by minute filaments to the mucous membrane 
of the mouth and throat, and particularly upon the ede;es 
and tip of the tongue, and thus forming the special organ 
of taste.* In short, the trifacial nerve is distributed to 

* There is some question whether the inferior maxillary branch of 
the trifacial, does actually furnish the gustatory nerve. Many exper- 
iments have been made on living animals, to settle this point: but the 
parts are so complicated, and different nerves are so closely associated, 
that nothing perfectly satisfactory and conclusive, has yet been ascer- 

154 graham's lectures on the 

every part of the face, forehead, eyelids, nose, lips, 
jaws and ears; and in its extensive ramifications, it anas- 
tomoses or unites freely with the facial nerve, with several 
other nerves of the head, and with a great numher of 
twigs from the sympathetic, of organic life. It communi- 
cates with the organs of all the five senses, and of volun- 
tary motion, and brings these and all other parts to which 
it is distributed, into general relationship: and it also brings 
all these parts into a more direct and powerful relation with 
the stomach and the whole domain of organic life. This 
is the universal nerve of sensation to the head and face, 
to the skin, to the surface of the eye, to the cavities 
of the nose, mouth, tongue, &c. 

§255. The trifacial nerve has been the subject of 
much physiological research, experiment and speculation. 
It has by some, been called the sympathetic of the head; 
and there certainly are many interesting analogies hc- 
tw r een this nerve, the pneumogastric and the sympathetic 
of organic life. (§ 227.) Tiedemann however, conceives 
that this last nerve is sufficient to answer all the sympa- 
thetic purposes of the body: and as a medium of general 
sympathy it undoubtedly is. Yet both the trifacial and the 
pneumogastric may act in their spheres, as special sym- 
pathetics, bringing into more special and imediate relation- 
ship particular parts, which are collectively embraced by 
the great sympathetic, without at all interfering with the 
functions of this last nerve. In a state of extended in- 
flammation, or a high degree of morbid sensibility, the tri- 
facial nerve is certainly the medium of morbid sympathy 
between different parts to which it is distributed. The 
protracted irritation of the nerve of a decayed tooth, 
often gives rise to ear-ache, head-ache, &c. — and some- 
times, these sympathetic symptoms continue constantly 
for years, or until the tooth is extracted. And we know 


too, that those parts to which the trifacial is distributed 
as the principal nerve, sympathize very powerfully with 
the stomach, especially in a diseased state; as the eyes, 
ears, teeth, &c. In that distressing complaint, called 
sick head-ache, it is probable that both the trifacial and 
the pneumogastric nerves are much concerned. 

§256. Su< h is tli3 importance of this nerve to those 
of special sense, that some physiologists have supposed 
it imediately ess nrtial to their functional pow r ers; and 
some have even asserted, that the functions of sight and 
smell, are performed in certain animals, by the branches of 
this nerve, in the absence of the optic and olfactory. 
But most unquestionably, these opinions are erroneous. 
Yet it is entirely certain, that the division of those 
branches which go to the eye and nose, will instantly de- 
stroy the sensibility of the parts, and soon cause a total 
abolition of sight and smell; and all injury done to these 
branches, commensurately impairs the functional powers 
of the optic and olfactory nerves: — so intimately con- 
nected and reciprocally dependent are the several parts 
which compose a single organ and a whole -system. 

§ 257. There is one other view, presented by some 
physiologists, of the 'rifacial nerve, which is exceedingly 
interesting and plausible. — It is that this nerve is pecu- 
liarly the cerebral organ of animal instinct. It is said 
that in the vertebrated animals, the development of in- 
stinct appears to be in a direct ratio with the trifacial; 
and that in (hose articulated animals whose brain corre- 
sponds with the gasserian ganglion of the trifacial nerve, 
the instinctive powers are more developed than in the 
members of other classes. 

§ 258. The originators and advocates of this opinion 
affirm that the brain and trifacial nerve are always devel- 
oped in an inverse ratio; and that the development of the 

156 graham's lectures on the 

trifacial, and the instinctive faculties always bear a precise 
relation to each other. " Man," say they, "is governed by 
reason and not by instinct, and in him, the trifacial nerve, 
in comparison with the other parts of the nervous sys- 
tem, is reduced to its minimum of existence. The monkey, 
the dog, the elephant, and most of the higher mammalia, 
though immeasurably below man, appear to be directed by 
a kind of brute reason. In these animals also, the trifacial 
bears but an inconsiderable proportion to the general 
nervous mass; — the instinctive faculties are indeed mani- 
fest, but not carried to the extent they are met with, in 
many of the lower orders. In the seal and beaver, among 
the mammalia, these faculties are at their highest pitch of 
development, and seem rather to be the effect of an un- 
erring reasoning power than the result of the organization 
of instinct. In these animals the brain is reduced to a 
state of atrophy, whilst the trifacial is carried to an 
enormous extent of development. In the wasp, the bee 
and the spider, and especially in the bee, instinct is carried 
to its highest perfection. And here the brain is wholly 
wanting; the gasserian ganglion being the predominating 
part of the nervous system in all the invertebrata, and in the 
bee this organ is carried to its highest point of complexity 
and organization." 

§ 259. All the parts of the nervous system which I 
have described, may be developed, and all the functions 
immediately essential to animal and organic life, may be 
performed, without the brain. " Many instances are on 
record of human beings, which were entirely destitute of 
the proper brain, and in which the two gasserian gangli- 
ons approached each other and became confounded in one 
general mass, and with this, the olfactory, optic, auditory 
and other nerves of the head, were connected, and during 
the life of the individuals the functions of smell, vision 


hearing and taste were perfect." But these are mon- 
strosities of nature; and fortunately are of rare occur- 
rence. They however, serve to demonstrate the rela- 
tions and dependencies of parts; and sometimes teach us 
important physiological truths, which it would be diffi- 
cult, if possible for us to ascertain in any other way. 

§ 260. We see therefore, that the spinal marrow and 
the spinal nerves, together with the medulla oblongata 
and the several pairs of nerves within the cranium, are 
all purely and exclusively the agents of animal sensation, 
perception and voluntary motion: and that the brain 
itself, instead of being a galvanic apparatus employed in 
generating the nervous power or vital stimulus of the 
whole system, is appropriated entirely to the intellectual 
and moral powers and manifestations, and has little more 
to do with the rest of the body than to depend on its 
general organic economy for its own sustenance, and to 
constitute the special organism through which the mind 
is acted on by the body, and in turn, acts on the body — 
directly, in the exercises of the will, and indirectly in. 
all mental excitements and emotions. 



The brain — the order of its development and the relations of its parts — 
Gall's views— Spurzheim's views — 'J iedemann's views — Number of 
cerebral organs described by Gall— Number added by Spurzheini — 
Common centre of the cerebrospinal system — ] nd sym- 

metrical form of this system— Not so in the nerves of organic life — 
Connexions between the nerves el' organic life and the eerebro spinal 
BYstem — Skin and mucous membrane, their structure and general 
functions as media of nervous connexion and syn pathy — Organic and 
animal sensibility, described — Centre of animal life no perception of, 
nor control over the functions of organic life — Nerves of organic life 
no animal sensibility — External senses and their relations — touch, 
taste, si) ell, heating, sight —Special senses of organic life — Syn pa- 
thetk relations between the different parts in organic and animal life — 
The powerful sympathetic, relations between the stomach, brain and 
all Other paits — Sympathies, sources of happiness and of misery — 
Organic sympathies excited by poison — .Morbid sensibility in nerves 
of organic Life — Sympathetic relations between the nerves of organic 
life and the mind — Influence of the mind on the body — Of the body 
on the mind — Hereditary predispositions, &c— Nerves larger and 
more pulpy in early life — smaller and drier in old age. 

§261. The parts within the cranium remaining to be 

described, are the cerebrum or brain and the cerebellum 
or little brain. The latter occupies the lower portion of 
the back part of the skull; and the former occupies the 
whole of the upper and front portion. In common lan- 
guage however, all the parts within the cranium are col- 
lectively called the brain, and in the technical language 
of anatomy and physiology, the encephalon, from two 
Greek words meaning " in the head." 


§ 262. At first, the contents of the cranium and spinal 
canal, are, as 1 have said, (§214.) exceedingly soil-, — 
somewhat like the white of an egg. They gradually 
become more and more consistent, and assume the form 
of determinate structure and arrangement. ft is not, 
however, until about the seventh year of life that the 
brain is supposed to have attained to that completeness 
of development and degree of consistency, which fit it 
for vigorous functional exercise: and even at this age, the 
employment of it in severe and continued mental opera- 
tions, is neither safe nor wise. 

§ 263. I have already so fully described the natural 
order of the original development of the cerebro- 
spinal system (§ 250.) that I trust I shall not be misun- 
derstood if I now proceed to describe the brain as it pre- 
sents itself to the eye of the anatomist, in the dissection 
of the completely developed body, and speak of parts as 
rising from others, which probably originated separately 
and in the progress of development, became united. 

§ 264. The medulla oblongata, or that portion of the 
spinal marrow which is within the skull, I have said, 
(§244.) consists of three pairs of bodies united in a 
single bulb, (fig. 18. M) viz. the two pyramidal bodies 
(h) which are continuations up of the two front portions 
of the spinal marrow, (§238.) the two restiform bodies 
which are continuations up of the two back portions 
of the spinal marrow, and the two olivary bodies (fig. 
18. i) lying between the other two pairs, and partly at 
the sides, which are composed of gray matter thinly 
surrounded by white fibres, and by some anatomists are 
considered enforcing ganglions. The bulb thus com- 
posed, leans forward in the cranium and rests its ante- 
rior surface in a fossa or groove formed for it in the basilar 
bone. This brings the front portion, or the two pyra- 

160 graham's lectures on the 

m'idal bodies partially under the others, so that the resti- 
form bodies, or the continuations of the back portions of 
the spinal marrow, are placed somewhat above. Medul- 
lary fibres (§ 250.) continuing from these last named 
bodies, pass through masses of the gray substance by 
which they are greatly augmented in number, and are 
reflected backwards in nearly a horizontal line, and ex- 
panded into something like a fibrous membrane which by 
its peculiar foldings, forms the little brain. (Figs. 15. 1G. 
R.) The diverging fibres from each restiform body form 
a distinct lobe; so that the little brain consists of two 
lobes — the one on the right and the other on the left of 
the middle line. Some of the fibres of each of these 
lobes proceed forwards and taking a transverse direction, 
meet and unite on the middle line at the top of the 
medulla oblongata, forming the principal commissure or 
uniting portion of the little brain. This portion is some- 
times called the pons or bridge, going from one lobe to 
the other; sometimes it is called the annular protuber- 
ance; and sometimes, the transverse fibres. (Fig. 18. 
d.) Several pairs of nerves within the cranium which I 
have described, have the superficial appearance of origi- 
nating in this body — Besides the transverse fibres, there 
are also others, which connect each lobe with the quad- 
rigeminal bodies and the brain proper. — Tt is extremely 
difficult to describe the parts of which I am speaking, in 
such a manner as to present a correct image clearly and 
distinctly to the mind of those who have never seen a 
naked brain. Fig. 18./, however, is a very good illus- 
d of the general external appearance of the little 
brain in its connexion with the cerebrum or brain proper. 
Yet to ' tain a clear and accurate idea of it, the brain 
itself must be seen and examined. 

§ 265. The medullary fibres continuing from the 


pyramidal bodies of the medulla oblongata, (fig. 18. h) 
together with those from the olivary, (?) and perhaps a 
few from the restiform bodies, proceed forwards and^ 
upwards, passing through masses of the gray substance,, 

Fig. 18. 


The base of the brain, exhibiting — a, the anterior lobes; b r 
the middle lobes; k, the posterior lobes projecting over f> 
the little brain; M, the medulla oblongata; h, the pyrami- 
dal bodies; i, the olivary bodies; <1 , the pons varolii; and 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, the different cerebral 
nerves described in the text. 

which are covered by the transverse fibres (rf) of the 
little brain; — the olivary fasciculi either traversing or 
becoming closely connected with the quadrigeminal 
bodies. Having arrived at the anterior edge of the 

162 graham's lectures on the 

annular protuberance, (d) considerably increased in num- 
ber, they form what are called the crura cerebri or legs 
of the brain. (Fig. 16. C C.) They now plunge into the 
great ganglions of the brain, called, by the old anatomists 
the optic thalami, (§250.) where they are again very greatly 
increased in number. According to Spurzheim, the fibres 
or fasciculi from the olivary and restiform bodies, traverse 
the posterior and middle portions of the great ganglions, 
from which they diverge and form the convolutions of the 
upper and posterior parts of the hemispheres: — and the 
fasciculi from the pyramidal bodies, traverse the anterior 
portion of the great ganglions from which they pass into 
the smaller ganglions called the striated bodies (§250.) 
where again, they are exceedingly augmented in number, 
and from which they diverge (figs. 15, 16. A) and form 
the inferior, anterior, and external convolutions of the 
front and middle lobes of the brain. (Fig. 18. a b.) The 
pyramidal bodies (h) of the medullary oblongata, he con- 
siders the rudiments of such parts of the brain as belong 
to the intellectual operations, and, in man, the olivary 
(?) and part of the restiform bodies, as the roots of those 
parts that pertain to the affective manifestations. And 
in accordance with this view, he says that in the animals 
below man that portion of the legs of the brain which 
is formed by the olivary fasciculi, is much more volumin- 
ous than that portion which is formed by the pyramidal 
fasciculi; and as we descend in the scale of being, its 
relative proportion increases continually; while in man 
that portion which is formed by the pyramidal fasciculi 
constitutes two thirds of each cerebral leg. (Fig. 
16. CC.) 

§ 266. In regard to the arrangement of the medullary 
fibres in the formation of the convolutions and commis- 
sures of the brain, there is a wide difference of opinion 


between the most eminent anatomists. " The convolu- 
tions internally consist," says Spurzheim, "of white 
fibres which are covered on their extremities with cineri- 
tious substance. These fibres which terminate the ner- 
vous bundles of the cerebral crura, are not all of the same 
length. Many, especially of those which are situated on 
the outer sides of the convolutions terminate immediately 
beyond the exterior walls of the cavities; — the others 
extend to distances progressively greater as they run more 
centrally, — those of the interior extending the farthest 
of all. It is in consequence of this peculiar structure 
that prolongations and depressions are formed on the 
surface of the hemispheres. The cineritious or gray 
substance follows all the forms composed by the white 
fibres and covers every elevation and depression with a 

§ 267. Concerning the commissures of the brain or 
those parts which unite the two hemispheres, he says 
" they are formed by the converging fibres. " Nothing," 
he continues " can be easier than by dissection to prove 
the two orders of cerebral fibres — the diverging and 
converging, and to show that the mass or bundle called 
the corpus callosum belongs to the converging order." 
Yet Tiedemann whose authority on this subject, is perhaps 
equal, if not superior to that of any other man, declares 
that, these converging fibres have only an imaginary 
existence, that they are not to be found in the brain 
and that the corpus callosum is formed before the 
convolutions (which according to Spurzheim give rise 
to the converging fibres) begin to appear. 

§ 268. I confess that my own inquiries and investiga- 
tions which have been somewhat diligent and protracted, 
have resulted in impressions much more in accordance 
with the views of Tiedemann than with those of Gall and 

164 graham's lectures on the 

Spurzheim, in regard to the converging fibres, and the 
formation of the commissures and convolutions of the 
brain. If nothing can be easier than by dissection to 
prove the two orders of cerebral fibres, it is very remark- 
able that so few have ever succeeded in satisfying them- 
selves by actual dissection, of the existence of the con- 
verging fibres. I have conversed with many able anato- 
mists who had dissected many brains, and who believed 
and taught the doctrine of Gall and Spurzheim concern- 
ing these fibres; but I never yet saw the man who by 
actual dissection had demonstrated their existence. 

§ 269. According to Tiedemann, the medullary fibres 
that issue from the cerebral ganglions which I have al- 
ready described, (§ 265.) at first form a thin fibrous 
membrane on each side of the head. These membranes 
in the progress of development, curve their superior edges 
in towards the middle line, and these edges gradually 
meet and unite, and thus form the corpus callcsum or 
great cerebral commissure, and by so doing, at the same 
time, form the two hemispheres of the brain: which as 
yet are in a membranous state like two bladders, without 
any appearance of convolutions: but the membrane is 
considerably thickened by the additions of new medullary 
matter on the exterior surface. In this state of the brain 
the fibres are to be traced from the medulla oblongata to 
the corpus callosum, and it is evident that the fibres 
which terminate in, and form this commissure, are the 
same that come from the legs of the brain: and were 
the skull sufficiently capacious for an entire development 
of the cerebral hemispheres in this form, the human 
brain might come to full maturity of organization and of 
functional power, without a single convolution. In cases 
of hydrocephalus, where the hemispheres are com- 
pletely expanded, they are merely brought back into that 


membranous state, in which they were at first. And 
this, we know, takes place without any perceptible dis- 
turbance of the cerebral functions. 

§270. " Were the diverging fibres of the great cerebral 
ganglions prolonged directly into the corpus callosum," 
says Sporzheim, " it would be extremely difficult to 
understand how they could be elongated to the degree occa- 
sionally observed in hydrocephalus." But the diffi- 
culty here contemplated, is purely imaginary. It is not 
claimed that in the normal state of a fully developed brain, 
the fibres proceed directly from the ganglions to the 
commissure; but that the membrane formed by these 
fibres is so folded in and out, upon itself, as to form 
what are called the convolutions of the brain, and so as 
to bring the greatest extent of surface within the capacity 
of the skull. It is therefore very easy to understand how 
water slowly accumulating in the cavities of the brain, 
gradually raises up the corpus callosum and enlarges the 
capacity of the skull and unfolds the hemispheres into their 
ex [landed membranous form, without lacerating any of 
the cerebral texture or disturbing any cerebral function. 
It is before the convolutions are formed, and in those cases 
of hydrocephalus in which all the convolutions are unfold- 
ed, and the hemispheres completely expanded into their 
original membranous state, that the fibres proceed directly 
or rather in a curved line from the ganglions to the corpus 
callosum. I have not found it very difficult to unfold the 
hemispheres of a recent brain in this manner, and spread it 
out into an extended membrane with no other laceration 
of the parts than was necessary at the edges, in order to 
bring a natural hemisphere into a plane: and when thus 
unfolded it is very easy to see the blood-vessels ramifying 
over the whole internal surface, and to perceive die me- 
dullary fibres radiating like the sticks of an open Ian, 

166 graham's lectures on the 

(fig. 15. A) from the medulla oblongata to the ganglions, 
and from the ganglions to the great commissure. 

§ 271. According to Tiedemann and to my own con- 
victions then, when the cerebral hemispheres are as fully 
developed in the extended membranous, or bladder-like 
form as the normal capacity of the skull will allow, the 
membrane, now consisting of the fibrous arrangement 
of the white substance, with a thin covering of gray sub- 
stance on the external surface, begins to gather into folds 
so as to continue the enlargement of its surface and still 
accommodate itself to the capacity of the skull. in this 
manner the development of the hemispheres proceeds, 
till a nervous membrane is folded up in the cranial cavity, 
the area of whose surface, is several times greater than 
that of the inner surface of the skull; and until that thin 
membranous arrangement which at first, was expanded 
and smooth, is so closely folded upon itself, and by the 
general curving of the mass to adapt itself to the capacity 
and shape of the skull, the internal parts are so closely 
pressed together and compacted, as. to give to the 
external surface of the hemispheres, those elevations and 
depressions which are called the convolutions, and to the 
medullary matter, the appearance of a thick solid wall or 
mass. By the general curving of this wall, also, in order 
to come into the spherical shape of the skull, the corpus 
callosum or great commissure is brought down on the 
middle line near to the base of the brain, and thus are form- 
ed, by the same disposition of parts, the great external fis- 
sure extending from the forehead to the occiput, between 
the two halves of the brain, (fig. 19.) and the great 
internal ventricles or cavities of the hemispheres. Other 
smaller cavities are likewise formed at, and near the 
centre and base of the brain by the relative position of 
different parts. But as the minute dsecription of them 



would serve in no degree to illustrate any known phys- 
iological principles, I shall say nothing more concerning 

§ 272. Each hemisphere of the brain thus developed 
is subdivided, in the descriptions of anatomy, into three 
lobes. — An anterior lobe lying in the forehead, — (fig. 
IS. o) a posterior lobe lying in the back part of the 

Fig. 19. 

Top of the brain showing the convolutions, and the fissure 
between the two hemispheres. 

head and over the little brain, (k) and a middle lobe 
lying in the region of the ear. (b.) Each of these lobes 
again, is composed superficially of a number of apparent 
convolutions of the cerebral substance, so that, the whole 

168 graham's lectures on the 

external surface of the brain is a succession of irregular 
elevations and depressions: and this irregular or uneven 
surface, it will be remembered, is everywhere covered 
by a thin layer of the gray substance. (Fig. 19.) The vas- 
cular membrane called the pia mater, which surrounds the 
spinal mai-Fow (§ 239.) comes up and expands over the 
little brain and brain proper, adhering in all parts closely to 
the surface and dipping into every depression, fissure and 
cavity. Over this, is spread the arachnoid or spider's- 
web membrane which also continues up from the spinal 
marrow, and is everywhere constantly moistened with a 
serous fluid; and which beside covering the cerebrum and 
cerebellum, forms a sheath or envelope for all the nerves 
and all the vessels which enter, or issue from the skull: 
and finally, enveloping the whole, the strong fibrous 
membrane called the dura-mater continues up from the 
spinal canal, and expands, and lines the inner surface cf 
the skull throughout, — dips down, by what is called the 
falciform process, between the hemispheres of the brain 
to the corpus callosum, — forms a partition between the 
posterior lobes of the brain and the little brain, called the 
tentorium, and also separates the two lobes of the little 

§ 273. The two hemispheres of the brain are united, 
as I have said, on the middle line by the great commis- 
sure or corpus callosum which lies near the base. There 
are also, smaller commissures in the anterior and posteri- 
or parts. But the principal bond of union, and that on 
which the unity of the brain and of its functions, as a 
single organ, or as a single system of organs, mainly 
depends, is established at the focal point at, or near the 
top of the medulla oblongata, from which the fibres com- 
posing the legs of the brain, rise and diverge. " The 
corpus callosum," says Dr. Spurzheim, "may be split 


through its entire length, without destroying the unity of 
function of the two hemispheres." 

§ 274. The fibrous arrangement of the medullary sub- 
stance of the brain, (§ 162.) and the disposition of the 
fibres in the texture and general conformation of the 
cerebral hemispheres, have, of late years, been rendered 
matters of very considerable interest by the views, origin- 
ally advanced by Dr. Gall, and since advocated by ISpurz- 
heim and others, concerning the relation existing between 
particular parts of the brain and particular intellectual and 
moral powers and manifestations. 

§ 275. According to these views as first advanced by 
Gall, a certain number of medullary fibres radiating 
from the cerebral ganglions, in each hemisphere, form a 
fasciculus or bundle which proceeds to the surface of the 
brain and constitutes a special organ, the single and 
exclusive function of which, is the manifestation of a 
specific propensity, sentiment, or intellectual power. 
Of these especial organs, Gall described and located 
twenty-seven pairs, — including the two lobes of the 
cerebellum as a single pair; — the organs of one hemis- 
phere corresponding precisely with those of the other, 
as one eye or ear does with the other. 

§ 276. Spurzheim, who was a pupil of Gall's, em- 
braced the views of his master with great confidence and 
zeal, and from that hour, devoted his whole life with 
untiring industry to those researches and investigations 
by which he hoped to erect the theory into a complete 
and well-established science: and if he did not live to 
accomplish all that he desired, he certainly succeeded in 
producing a powerful impression on the intellectual world, 
and in convincing thousands of the correctness of his 
doctrines. He was probably more successful in unfolding 
the brain, and did more to introduce a correct mode of 

170 graham's lectures on the 

dissecting and studying that important organ than any 
other man. But such is the softness of the cerebral 
substance and the delicacy of its tissue, that it is impos- 
sible, by any artificial means to push our inquiries very 
minutely into the details of its intimate structure and 
arrangement, with an entire certainty of ascertaining 
the truth on every point. Hence, notwithstanding the 
confidence with which Spurzheim insisted on the exist- 
ence of an order of converging fibres which originate in 
the cerebral convolutions and terminate, mainly in the 
corpus callosum, and declared that " nothing is more 
easy than to prove this by dissection," yet all his follow- 
ers have been obliged to receive this purely as a matter 
of faith, for no one, I believe, has been able to demon- 
strate the truth of the statement. The course pursued 
by Tiedemann is therefore, a far more correct and sure 
way of coming at the truth, in regard to the intimate 
texture of the brain. He carefully watched the cerebral 
development, in all its stages, from the first appearance 
of any of its parts, to its full maturity. He saw the sev- 
eral parts in their rudiments, — saw them in their more 
advanced state, — saw the thin membranes of the hemis- 
pheres before they were united to the corpus callosum, 
— saw them when partially, and when completely united, 
— saw the two hemispheres when thus united, expanded 
and smooth like two distended bladders lying side by 
side, — saw them when they first began to gather into 
folds and saw them when closely folded in the full-formed 
brain. Yet even in this mode of investigation, it was 
possible for him to be deceived in regard to the origin 
and disposition of some of the parts: — but the probability 
of error in this mode, is incomparably less than in that 
pursued by Spurzheim. 

§277. I have already presented Spurzheim's descrip- 


tion of the cerebral convolutions, and of the manner in 
which they are formed. (§266.) But if Tiedemann is 
correct in regard to the membranous arrangement of the 
medullary fibres, and of the folding of that membrane so 
as to form what are called the convolutions of the hemis- 
pheres, in the manner I have described, — (§ 271.) and 
that he is correct, 1 must still insist, is fully proved by 
the complete unfolding of the brain into its membranous 
form, in some cases of hydrocephalus — then Spurzheim 
was in error not only in regard to the existence of an 
order of converging fibres, but also in regard to that ar- 
rangement of the diverging fibres which he describes in 
speaking of the formation of the convolutions. 

§ 278. But if it were fully demonstrated that Spurz- 
heim was in error on both these points, it would not 
necessarily follow that his theory concerning the relation 
between certain parts of the brain and certain powers 
of the mind, is incorrect. The truth of this theory is not 
to be demonstrated by cerebral anatomy but by cerebral 
physiology: and it is equally possible for such physiolo- 
gical powers to be possessed by the brain whether its 
organization is according to the descriptions of Spurzheim 
or those of Tiedemann. 

§ 279. I have said that Gall described and located twen- 
ty seven pairs of cerebral organs. To these Spurzheim 
added eight pairs, which he described and located; and 
conjectured two pairs more, the location of which he 
only suggested. So that, according to Spurzheim, we 
have thirty-five, and perhaps thirty-seven or more pairs of 
cerebral organs appropriated to the propensities, senti- 
ments and intellect. The two pairs conjectured by 
Spurzheim have with more confidence been described and 
located by some of his followers: — and indeed, some of 
the more bold and zealous phrenologists multiply and 

172 graham's lectures on the 

locate organs ad libitum, to suit their convenience, — to 
meet their exigencies, or according to their convictions 
from observation. The character and location of these 
organs I shall describe according to the views of Gall and 
Spurzheim when I come to treat of the physiology of the 
brain. (§ 544.) It may be well however, in this place to 
say that phrenologists, so far as I am informed, are not 
decided in opinion, whether the thinking power of the 
brain belongs more especially and intimately to the gray 
substance of the surface or to the white medullary fibres 
which form the convolutions. (§ 161. 162.) 

§ 2S0. From the view which I have presented of the 
cerebro-spinal system, it will be perceived that all the 
nerves of the trunk and extremities, appear to converge 
as it were, toward the head of the medulla oblongata; 
(§ 251.) and all the nerves and medullary fibres within 
the cranium converge towards the same point. (Fig. 16.) 
All the parts above this point may be destroyed by slow 
disease, without destroying the power of animal sensation 
and of voluntary motion: — and all the parts below the 
medulla oblongata, may be paralyzed by disease without 
immediately abolishing the intellectual powers. It may 
therefore, be asserted with great confidence, that the grand 
centre of animal life is at, or near the top of the medulla 
oblongata. I do not, however intend to imply that vitality 
peculiarly resides at this point; but that here seems to be 
such a focal point of the whole nervous machinery of the 
cerebro-spinal system, that we can at this place put our 
finger on the whole at once, and instantaneously arrest 
all the functions of this system of nerves. It is therefore 
the centre of animal perception and of voluntary action: — 
the point to which all animal sensations are directly con- 
veyed, or by which they are perceived; and from which, 
all the mandates of volition are transmitted directly to the 
muscles of voluntary motion. 


§281. I have already more than once alluded to the 
duplicate form of all those parts in the human body which 
belong to animal life. — (§ 238.) If the body be divided 
on the middle line, it will be found to consist of two pre- 
cisely corresponding halves. — The bones, the muscles 
and the nerves of one side correspond almost exactly 
with those of the other. — The parts uniting on the middle 
line are composed of two corresponding halves, as the 
tongue, the nose, the mouth, &c, while those removed 
from the middle line are in corresponding pairs — as the 
eyes, the ears, the upper and lower extremities, &c. 
The nerves of the two halves of the cerebro-spinal system 
are very exact and symmetrical in their resemblance to 
each other. — The right and left half of the brain and 
spinal marrow and all the nerves connected with them, 
are almost precisely alike. Yet it is an interesting fact 
that this symmetry is less perfect in man than in the 
animals below him. — " Considered either in regard to 
symmetry or structure," says Meckel, " the nervous 
system of man is less regular than that of other animals, 
even those which are nearest to him. In fact the halves 
of the nervous system correspond more perfectly, in the 
mammalia, and the deviations from the normal state in 
those animals, are rarer than in man." This difference 
is very certainly not an aboriginal one, but is most unques- 
tionably a degeneracy in the human species: and without 
doubt, has resulted from the voluntary habits of man. 

§ 282. In the domain of organic life, though there is 
some approach to the duplicate form, yet there is no 
regularity or symmetric correspondence. The two lungs 
do not exactly correspond, nor do the two halves of the 
heart. Indeed there is an evident oneness of system 
and economy in the domain of organic life. 

§ 283. We have seen that this system of nerves pre- 

174 graham's lectures on the 

sides over all the vital functions by which the body is 
formed and sustained; (§ 218 — 231.) and that the nerves 
of animal life with their muscles, bones, &c. are purely 
organs of external relation; whose office it is, to perceive 
those external wants, the supply of which, requires their 
exercise, and to perceive and procure those external 
materials by which the internal wants are supplied. 
(§ 233.) These important functional relations make it 
necessary for the two systems of nerves to be so con- 
nected that the requisite media of communication shall 
be established between them: and the mutual dependencies 
of the two systems also require them to be intimately 
reciprocal in sympathy. I shall therefore now proceed 
to speak of these connexions and sympathies. 

§ 284. It will be recollected, that, when treating of the 
nerves of organic life, I spoke of a range of ganglions 
lying on each side of the back-bone — (§220.) con- 
nected by intermediate cords, and extending from the 
base of the skull to the lower extremity of the spinal 
column; — and that these ranges are connected with the 
great centre of organic life, by numerous cords radiating 
from that centre and terminating in many of these 
peripheral or limiting ganglions. — Of these ganglions, 
there are usually on each side, three in the neck, 
twelve in the region of the back, five in the region of 
the loins and three or four in the sacral regions. These 
ganglions lie near where the spinal nerves of animal life 
are connected with the spinal marrow: and as the spinal 
nerves pass by the ganglions, each ganglion gives off 
two branches which proceed outward a short distance, and 
join the corresponding spinal nerve. (Fig. 14. z.) 
One of these branches is usually larger and more pulpy 
than the other and sends some twigs to the muscles be- 
tween the ribs. This is supposed to be more especially the 


medium of communication from the ganglion to the spinal 
nerve: and the other, which is smaller, whiter, and gives 
off no twigs, is supposed to be the medium of communi- 
cation from the spinal nerve to the ganglion. All the 
ganglions in the two ranges, also give off filaments which 
go with the nerves of animal life to the muscles of volun- 
tary motion: — and more especially to those voluntary 
muscles which are concerned in the function of respira- 
tion. The highest ganglion of the range on each side, lies 
at the base of the skull and sends a branch upwards which 
dividing into twigs, forms a kind of plexus around the 
main artery of the brain, and passing with it into the 
cranium, unites with two or three cerebral nerves and 
particularly the trifacial, which is so important a nerve 
of the head. This last nerve also, it will be remem- 
bered, after passing out of the cranium, unites in its 
various ramifications extensively with the nerves of 
organic life. (§ 254.) Such are the connexions between 
the limiting ganglions of organic life and the nerves of 
animal life. 

§ 285. The upper central connexions are mainly es- 
tablished by the pneumogastric. This nerve, it will be 
remembered issues from or near the grand centre of per- 
ception and action, of the nerves of animal life, (§ 245.) 
and by its branches forms connexions with almost every 
nerve, both animal and organic, in the region of the throat 
and neck, and also forms extensive connexions with the 
nerves of organic life in the thoracic cavity; — and unites 
freely in the stomach with the nerves coming directly from 
the great centre of organic life, and finally sends some 
twigs directly to that centre itself. (§ 247.) 

§ 286. Another, and more extensive and general con- 
nexion is formed between the two systems of nerves, 
by that arrangement on which the body in all its parts and 

176 graham's lectures on the 

tissues depends for sustenance. The nerves of organic 
life appropriated to the vascular system, and which preside 
over all its varied functions, penetrate with the vessels to 
which they belong, into every structure of the body. — 
Even the brain and spinal marrow, and all the nerves of 
the body, are nourished by blood-vessels over whose 
functions the nerves of organic life preside. By this 
universal presence and functional relation the nerves of or- 
ganic life are brought into important connexions with those 
of the cerebro-spinal system. This species of connexion 
is largely formed in the extended membrane which con- 
stitutes the covering of the body, and therefore for the 
sake of showing still farther the anatomical connexions and 
functional and sympathetic relations between the domains 
of organic and animal life, I shall introduce in this place a 
general description of the skin, reserving the more minute 
details, till I come to speak of its particular functions. 

§ 287. In the vegetable kingdom, there are some 
species, which may be torn up by the roots and inverted 
— placing their tops downwards in the earth and their 
roots in the place of their boughs, and the order of their 
vegetation will change, and their tops will become roots 
and their roots, boughs with their twigs, leaves, &c. So in 
the animal kingdom there are some species which may be 
turned inside out, and they will live on, apparently as 
well as before; — the membrane which was internal per- 
forming all the necessary functions of the external — and 
that which was external performing all the necessary 
functions of the internal skin. This correspondence of 
anatomical structure and functional capability between 
the inner and outer skin, is continued to a considerable 
extent through the whole animal kingdom, up to the 
human species. In man, a peculiar membranous texture 
of cellular tissue covers the whole external surface of 


the body like a sack: — continuing over the lips and up 
the nostrils, the same membrane lines the cavities of the 
mouth and nose, covering the tongue, &c. — and still con- 
tinuing backward, and downward, it covers and lines all 
the parts of the throat — lines the windpipe and extends 
through all its innumerable branches in the lungs — lining 
all the air-passages and cells, and presenting to the air 
in the lungs an extent of surface equal to the whole ex- 
ternal skin of the body; and some think, much greater. 
The same membrane, also continues down the meat- 
pipe, lining it and the stomach and the whole intestinal 
canal and the ducts which open into it. This membrane 
throughout its whole extent, is a delicate net-work, with 
an almost infinite number of extremely small meshes. — 
Through these meshes penetrate in countless numbers, 
the almost inconceivably minute terminations of capillary 
vessels of the sanguiferous and lymphatic systems, 
with their accompanying and presiding nerves. Besides 
these, innumerable filamentary extremities of the nerves 
of sensation, pass through the meshes of the membrane 
in the same manner. These vessels and nerves are so 
minute, so numerous and so intimately associated that it is 
not possible to puncture the skin in any place, with the 
point of the finest needle, without wounding both a nerve 
and a blood-vessel. According to some anatomists, this 
vasculo-nervous web is so constructed as to form a kind 
of nap on the exterior face of the membrane somewhat 
like the pile upon velvet. This nap however, and par- 
ticularly that portion of it which consists of the nerves of 
sensation, is longer and thicker in some parts than in 
others; (§ 242.) as on the ends of the fingers, &c. exter- 
nally, and in the stomach and small intestines internally. 
To lubricate these exquisitely delicate little organs and 
preserve them in a condition proper for the performance 

178 graham's lectures on the 

of their functions, they are everywhere surrounded by or 
imbedded in a thin body of mucus. This, on the 
external surface is called the rete mucosum; and contains 
the substance which gives the color to the skin; — being 
black in the negro — copper-colored in the Indian, white 
in white people, &c. Still farther to protect these delicate 
little organs from the rude and improper contact and 
influence of external things, the whole external surface 
is covered with a thin transparent, horny substance called 
the epidermis or cuticle. This however, becomes very 
thick and hard on parts subjected to much friction, as 
the bottoms of the feet, the palms of the hands and 
insides of the fingers of laboring men, &c. On the lips, 
nostrils, &c. where the external skin fades into the inter- 
nal, the cuticle is extremely thin. In some animals a very 
delicate epidermis or cuticle, continues inward lining the 
mouth, meatpipe and stomach; and some anatomists have 
supposed this to be the case in man.* 

§ 288. We see then, that the external surface of the 
body, and the cavities of the mouth, nostrils, windpipe, 
air-passages and cells of the lungs, meatpipe, stomach, 
intestinal tube, &c. constitute the confines of the 
incorporated living system, through which it communi- 
cates with the external world; and all these surfaces are 
covered by the same continuous, delicate, net-like mem- 
brane, through which must pass every thing that enters 
into, or issues from the living system. And for the 
purpose of introducing into the system all materials 
necessary to sustain the vital economy, and of conducting 
from it all that the vital economy has no further use for, 

* Doctor Horner, of Philadelphia, has recently demonstrated the exist- 
ence of an epidermis throughout the whole length of the alimentary 
canal, of which I shall speak more particularly when I come to de- 
scribe the particular anatomy of the parts. 


or that would clog, or oppress or disturb or destroy the 
operations of the economy, the innumerable vessels which 
I have just named, pass through the meshes of the mem- 
brane and form a vascular web upon its exterior face; 
and with these also, the myriads of most exquisitely 
delicate feelers, whose office is with strictest integrity to 
give their respective centres of perception and action, 
all necessary information concerning the presence and 
qualities of external things, with reference to the interests 
of the vital economy. 

§ 289. In regard to the substances conveyed into the 
living system, the little vessels differ in function, in the 
different parts of the internal and external surface, as we 
shall see hereafter; and this is also true, concerning the 
substances conveyed out of the system. tS till however, 
there is, to some extent, a general correspondence of 
function throughout the whole confines of the living 
system; — and especially, the eliminating functions, or 
those which convey substances from the body. The 
external skin and that of the lungs and alimentary canal, 
in many respects very nearly resemble each other, in 
regard to '.he substances which they throw off from the 
system; and they are, to a considerable extent reciprocal, 
or vicarious in their offices — the excess of one correspond- 
ing with the suppression of another. — The internal skin 
which lines the mouth, nostrils, windpipe, meatpipe, 
stomach, intestinal tube, &c, is, in the descriptions of 
anatomy and physiology, called the mucous membrane. 

§ 290. The myriads of little feelers or filamentary 
extremities of the nerves of sensation in the external skin 
are nerves of animal life and are connected with the back 
portion of the spinal marrow, (§ 242.) and through it, 
with the top of the medulla oblongata and brain. — Those 
of the internal skin or mucous membrane, are nerves of 

180 graham's lectures on the 

organic life (§ 230.) and are connected with their special 
centres of perception and action, and through them with 
the grand centre of organic life. (§226.) The nerves 
of animal sensibility also extend to all portions of the 
mucous membrane which line or cover parts subject to 
the control of the will or which perform voluntary func 
tions, as the mouth, throat, &c. 

§ 291. Thus we see that the skin, as a whole, consti- 
tutes a very extensive medium of connexion and function- 
al relation between the nerves of organic, and those of 
animal life; and the sympathetic relations and reciprocities 
are equally direct and powerful. The mucous membrane 
of the alimentary canal and lungs sympathizes directly 
and powerfully in all the irritations and affections 
of the external skin; — and the whole external skin in 
turn, sympathizes in all the irritations and affections of 
the mucous membrane: this is particularly the case in all 
morbid affections of the external and internal skin. 

Organic and Animal Sensibility. 

§ 292. I have often spoken of organic and animal 
sensibility. It is very important that the meaning of 
these terms should be fully understood. — Strictly speak- 
ing, there are several species of sensibility in the human 
body. — That vital property of the muscles which renders 
them susceptible of the action of their appropriate, and 
other stimuli, may be considered a species of organic 
sensibility, but it is generally called irritability; and the 
term sensibility is only applied to the nerves. To make 
this deeply interesting subject as plain as possible, it is 
necessary that I should recapitulate for a moment. I 
have said that the large nervous mass lying back of the 
pit of the stomach, is the great, primary and common 


centre of organic life, and that the numerous smaller 
masses, or subordinate brains, are the special centres of 
particular organs or apparatuses of organs, — (fig. 14. a. o.) 
and that the top of the head of the spinal marrow is the 
centre of the nerves of animal life, or the centre of the 
nerves of external relation. Fig. 16. M. 

§ 293. Now let us understand the extent of the func- 
tional powers of these several centres. 

In the first place, the special centres of organic life 
(§ 219.) preside over the functions of their particular 
organs; and so far as each particular function is isolated 
from the functions of other organs, the centre which 
presides over it, is an independent and sovereign centre 
of perception and action: — but so far as it is immediately 
associated with the function or functions of other organs, 
the presiding centre is confederated with other special 
centres: and so far as each function is related to the great 
common centre as a constituent part of the common whole 
of organic life, each special centre is subordinate to the 
great common centre: and so far as the common whole 
of organic life requires the excercise of the organs of 
external relation, it is in a manner, subordinate to the cen- 
tre of animal life. The functional powers of this last 
centre then, are, first, the perception of the wants of the 
internal system as a whole; such as the want of air, food 
— drink, &c. second, the perception of the external 
materials and means by which the internal wants can be 
satisfied: and third, the exertion of that influence by 
which the voluntary muscles are contracted, and the 
motions are performed, necessary for supplying the inter- 
nal wants. 

§ 294. We see then, that when there is a general 
state of health throughout the body and all things in the 
vital domain are as they should be, and every function 

182 graham's lectures on the 

properly performed, the special centres only, have per- 
ception of what is taking place in their own appropriate 
spheres, while the great common centre has perception 
of the general condition of each particular organ, and 
presides in a general manner over the whole domain of 
organic life. The centre of animal life therefore, has 
no perception of, nor control over the particular func- 
tions of organic life. It only has cognizance of those 
general wants of the internal system, which, though 
referred to particular organs, are still the common wants 
of the whole system. The functions of the stomach, 
intestinal canal, liver, pancreas and all the other organs 
within the exclusive domain of organic life, are, in a 
state of perfect health and good order, no more perceived 
by the centre of animal life, than they would be if they 
belonged to another distinct individual animal. (§228.) 
Hence we say that the nerves of organic life have no 
animal sensibility. — They may in a state of health, be 
touched, cut or lacerated, and the animal will suffer no 
pain, because the centre of animal percep ion has no 
consciousness of the act. — But the performance of the 
functions of external relation, over which the centre of 
animal ii e presides, requires that this centre should have 
an extensive perception of external things with all their 
qualities and conditions. The qual hs of density or 
resistance, heat, cold, &c. &c. must be felt by the animal. 
Hence a part of the nerves of animal life (§ 242.) are 
endowed with the vital power of conveying to the centre 
of animal perception the impressions of touch, heat cold, 
&c; and as the things and qualities in relation to which 
this sense exists, may annoy and injure the body in every 
part, the sense is universal in the domain of animal life. 
The whole external skin is largely supplied with nerves 
which constitute it a general organ of touch. The 


limits of the internal skin, and the muscles or flesh gener- 
ally, also receive a measured supply of these nerves. 
That property or power of the nerves of animal life then, 
which enables us to feel heat and cold, and to know 
when any thing wounds or touches us, and to perceive 
the qualities of hard, soft, rough, smooth, &c. &c. &c. is 
what is usually called common animal sensibility: and the 
exercise of this power, or the pleasurable and painful 
feeling excited in these nerves by contact or otherwise, we 
call animal sensation. — This 1 have said (§ 24 J.) is the 
fundamental faculty of external relation, and in some degree 
is always present when animal life exists. It is a specific 
power which gives the centre of animal life the perception 
of certain qualities of external things, and is as truly a spe- 
cial sense as any in the body. (§ 253.) But there are other 
qualities of external things which exist in relation to organ- 
ic life, that are not perceived by this sense or power. 
For the perception of these, therefore, the animal is 
endowed with other special senses or faculties of external 
relation. The first of these — and that which comes 
nearest to the sense of touch, and is perhaps most inti- 
mately associated in organization with it, is the sense ol 
taste, (§254.) by which the animal perceives certain 
qualities of external things which relate to the alimentary 
wants of organic life, such as sweet, sour, bitter, &c. &c. 
The next, in the order of its functional character, is the 
sense of smell, (§ 252.) by which the animal perceives 
certain other qualities of external things which relate to 
the alimentary and respiratory wants of organic life; such 
as the various agreeable and disagreeable, salutary and 
baneful odors. The sense of hearing and the sense of 
sight, are faculties established not only in relation to the 
wanta of organic life, but, to the general interests and 
welfare of the body as a whole; and in man, these two 

184 Graham's lectures on thk 

faculties are more extensively and eminently the instru- 
ments of the soul, in the performance of its higher func- 

§ 295. Now let it he distinctly remembered, that each 
of these senses or faculties of external relation, is a pow- 
er by which the centre of animal life perceives certain 
qualities of external tilings; — and that the peculiar vital 
endowments of each organ of special sense precisely fit 
it for the perception of those particular qualities, in rela- 
tion to which it is established; and therefore these facul- 
ties are never vicarious in their functions. (§253.) The 
eye never hears, the ear never sees, &c. The eye is only 
fitted to appreciate the properties of light, the ear of 
sound, the nose of odors, the tongue of taste, and the 
fingers and external skin universally, the tangible proper- 

§ 296". With these explanations of animal sensibility, 
or the powers of external perception, let us return to the 
domain of organic life; and there — though we find no 
animal sensibility, yet we shall find the rudimental proto- 
types of all the external senses, — each organ possessing 
an organic sensibility as exquisitely delicate as the special 
sensibility of the nose or ear or eye; — and as perfectly 
fitted to perceive and appreciate the qualities of things in 
relation to which it was constituted by a wise and benev- 
olent Cod, as either of those special organs. — Organic 
sensibility then, as a general property, is the power of 
the appropriate nerves of organic life, to receive and 
convey to their special, or general centres, the impres- 
sions made upon them by the substances contained in the 
s to which they are distributed: — but this sensibility 
i e and important shades of difference in the differem 
, adapted to the constitutional purposes of each 
particular organ. Thus; — the organic sensibility of the 


stomach is adapted to the properties of the food designed 
for the nourishment of the body; and the organic sensi- 
bility of the intestinal tube is adapted to the properties of 
the chyme, &c. — that of the lacteals, to the chyle — that of 
the arteries, &c. to the blood — that of the biliary vessels 
to the bile, &c. &c. But this very adaptauon of the 
nerves of organic sensibility to the properties of appro- 
priate substances unfits them for the presence of improp- 
er substances; and consequently, when such substances 
are introduced into the stomach and other organs, they 
are the causes of irritation, disorder and disease; and, 
in a natural and healthy state, always in proportion as 
they are unadapted to the peculiar sensibility of the organ 
and unfitted for the supply of the vital wants, or are of 
a character unfriendly to the vital interests. 

§ 297. In regard to the sympathetic relations of parts, 
there is a very considerable difference between the nerves 
of organic and the nerves of animal life. The organs of 
animal life, so far as their sympathetic connexion depends 
on the cerebro-spinal nerves, are comparatively isolated. 
A hand or a foot, an ear or an eye, or even a lobe or 
hemisphere of the brain may be diseased and destroyed, 
and the corresponding, and other organs of animal life, 
will suffer very little direct sympathy. But in the domain 
of organic life, all parts sympathize with each, and each 
with all. If the stomach, in a healthy state of itself and 
of the whole system, receives a portion of food which is 
perfectly adapted to its peculiar sensibility and to the 
real wants of the vital economy— it is healthfully excited, 
and its general condition is agreeable, and all the other 
organs sympathize directly in the general condition of 
the stomach, rejoicing with it, and performing their own 
functions with a livelier and more gladsome energy :— and 
on the other hand, if, by the ingestion of an improper 

136 graham's lectures on the 

substance or any other cause, the stomach is irritated or 
disturbed to an extent which affects its general condition, 
ail the other organs sympathize in that condition, and their 
functions are commensurately disturbed, — being either 
accelerated or retarded in an unhealthy and injurious man- 

§ 293. In the same manner also, all the other organs 
sympathize with the intestinal canal, with the liver, kid- 
neys, &c. &c. But the degree of sympathetic influence 
which each organ has on the others, is always proportion- 
ate to the functional importance of the organ in the system 
and the nearness of its nervous relation to the great cen- 
tre of organic life. Hence the stomach holds an im- 
mensely important station in the assemblage of vital organs. 
Supplied as it largely is with nerves, directly from the 
great centre of organic life, (§ 231.) and with the 
pneumogastric, from the centre of animal life, (§245. 
385.) and associated by plexuses with all the surrounding 
organs, it sympathizes more directly and powerfully with 
every other internal organ, and with every part of the 
living body, than does any other organ: — and in turn, 
every other internal organ and every part of the living 
body sympathize more directly and powerfully with the 
stomach than with any other organ. 

§ 299. But notwithstanding the organs of animal life 
have very little direct sympathy with each other, yet, 
inasmuch as they depend on the nerves of organic life 
which belong to the blood-vessels that enter them, for 
their continual sustenance and healthy condition, they 
sympathize very directly, and in a diseased state, very 
powerfully with the internal organs; and particularly with 
the stomach. — Tf the eyes, ears, hands, feet, or any other 
part belonging to animal life, be diseased, every disturb- 
ance, irritation, or oppression of the stomach, aggravates 


that disease; and chronic indigestion always impairs the 
tone and functional power of the whole external skin, and 
indeed of the whole living system. — Few things, it is 
well known, will more speedily and completely prostrate 
the muscular powers of even the strongest men, than high 
irritation in the alimentary canal. On the other hand, 
the internal organs sympathize very directly with those of 
animal life. The continued action of excessive cold upon 
the external skin, retards all the internal functions: and 
so also, the continued action of excessive heat on the 
external skin debilitates the stomach and other internal 
organs and always tends to cause indigestion, pulmonary 
disease, &c. In short, every external affection has some 
sympathetic influence on the internal organs, and espe- 
cially the stomach and alimentary canal generally: — the 
liver, lungs, kidneys, &c. are also intimately involved 
in this sympathy. But of these reciprocal sympathies 
between the organs of organic and of animal life, perhaps 
the most powerful at all times, is that which exists between 
the stomach and the bain. A severe blow upon the 
head will cause nausea and vomiting; and all degrees of 
irritation in the brain, proportionably affect the stomach; 
and on the other hand, certain irritations of the stomach 
will cause vertigo of the brain, or a derangement of the 
functions of the brain, or even a total suspension of its 
functional powers: — and all degrees of irritation in the 
stomach, which affect its general condition, proportionably 
affect the brain. And let it be remembered also, that in 
all the sympathetic as well as idiopathic, or original irri- 
tations of the stomach, the liver, intestinal tube and other 
internal organs sympathize; 

§ 300. This wonderful economy of sympathy, which, 
in a well regulated state of the living system, is admirably 
adapted to the purposes of vitality, and is exceedingly 

188 Graham's lectures on the 

conducive to the enjoyment of the animal, may, by long 
abuses of the system, be converted into the source of the 
most intolerable suffering. In a healthy state of the system, 
if any improper substance be brought within the precincts 
of vital action, the part with which the substance comes 
in contact, perceiving, by its organic sensibility, (§ 296.) 
the deleterious character of the substance, gives alarm to 
its centre of perception and action and that centre takes 
immediate measures, by increased secretions, &c. to 
shield its special domain from the pernicious effects of 
the substance. And if the quality and quantity of the 
substance be such as to endanger seriously, the vital 
interests of the whole system, the special centre gives 
alarm to the great common centre of organic life, and 
thence it is spread throughout the whole domain; and all 
parts sympathize with the suffering organ, and, by a gen- 
eral consentaneousness of action, strive together to re- 
move the offending cause: — and when the emergency is 
great, and the danger imminent, the agonizing energy of 
organic life is poured upon those muscles of animal life 
concerned in respiration, and violent vomitings, &c. ensue. 
In all these operations the organic instinct acts determi- 
nately, and as it were, rationally, with reference to a final 
cause of good, viz. the removal of the offending cause. 
But if the disturbing cause be loo long continued, or too 
frequently repeated, the organic sensibility of the part 
becomes diseased, and excessive irritability is induced: 
and if the part be an important one, such as the stomach 
or intestinal canal, the diseased irritability is soon propa- 
gated throughout the whole domain, and a highly morbid 
sympathy is universally established. In such a state of 
things, the organic instinct when agonizing with irritating 
causes, frequently acts with most fearful insanity, pouring 
its misdirected energy on parts whose action cannot afford 


relief, and terrible spasms and general convulsions are 
produced. — These effects are generally attributed to the 
irritations of the brain. But I am convinced that this is 
a capital pathological error and that it has been the source 
of immense error and evil in therapeutics. The brain un- 
doubtedly may be the primary seat of those irritations 
which cause spasms and convulsions, but this is not 
necessarily the case. Epileptic and other convulsive fits 
and spasmodic affections, almost universally result from 
irritations in tbe domain of organic life; and the alimentary 
canal is most generally the primary seat of those irritations. 
When the irritations and convulsions are long continued, 
the brain becomes sympathetically involved and often 
suffers most ruinously — even to the entire derangement, 
or total abolition of its functions, and decay of its sub- 
stance. Yet, how often do we see the most terrible spasms 
and convulsions where there is not the slightest symptom of 
cerebral irritation? — proving that the morbid irritations of 
the nerves of organic life, can be transmitted directly to 
the muscles of animal life, without the agency of the 
eerebro-spinal centre. The numerous branches which 
the ganglions, and particularly the limiting ganglions on 
each side of the back-bone, send to the muscles of animal 
life (§ 2S4.) are probably the media through which the 
irritations are transmitted. 

§ 301 . The nerves of organic life I have said (§ 294.) 
arc, in a state of health, entirely destitute of animal 
sensibility, but as we have seen (§296.) they are 
endowed with an exquisite organic sensibility, which 
qualifies them most perfectly for the performance of their 
constitutional functions in the living system; and the 
complete integrity of those functions, essentially depends 
on the healthy properties of the nerves. But the organ- 
ic sensibility of these nerves may, by continued or re- 

190 graham's lectures on the 

repeated irritation become exceedingly morbid or dis- 
eased, and a preternatural irritability and diseased sympa- 
thy may be induced and permanently established. In this 
state of things, all the functions of organic life are neces- 
sarily impaired, and to an extent always proportionate to 
the degree of diseased irritability and sympathy of the 
nerves. The food is less perfectly digested in the 
stomach, the chyle is less perfectly elaborated, the 
blood necessarily becomes deteriorated and the whole 
system, in every part and tissue, consequently suffers. 
By excessive and continued irritation also, inflammation 
may be induced, and the most painful sensibility devel- 
oped in the nerves of organic life, so that the centre of 
animal life will not only be conscious of the pain but 
refer it to the part diseased; — the same as it does impres- 
sions or affections of its own domain. This state of 
things is not only distressing but is always injurious to the 
living system and often imminently hazardous to life. — 
When therefore we are conscious that we have a stomach, 
or a liver from any feeling in those organs, we may be 
certain that something is wrong. For, as I have already 
remarked, — in a perfectly healthy state of the system we 
have no consciousness of individual organs within us, and 
no other consciousness of the domain of organic life as a 
whole, than such as appertains to the general wants of the 
vital economy, which require the exercise of the volun- 
tary powers in supplying food, drink and air, and in the 
voluntary eliminations of the body. When the food is 
procured and masticated and swallowed, it has passed 
beyond the cognizance of animal life and is given up to 
the operations and processes of the vegetable organs, to 
be converted into chyme; from which is elaborated the 
chyle, the blood, the bone, the muscle, the nerve, &c. 
and all without the care or consciousness of the animal. 
§ 302. Let us now, for a few minutes, contemplate 


the sympathetic relations between the nerves of organic 
life, and the mind. 

We have seen (§ 218.) that the great centre of 
organic life presides in a general manner, over all the 
functions concerned in nourishing and sustaining the body: 
and consequently these functions are removed from the 
control of the will. The stomach, the liver, the heart 
and all the other internal organs, regularly perform their 
functions without the agency, and beyond the direct 
control of the will. 

Because it is the business of the voluntary powers to 
fulfil external relations and to prevent the ingress Oi 
improper substances to the lungs and stomach, — a wise 
and benevolent Creator, has made the will, as it were, 
a warden to those important organs. Should we find 
ourselves surrounded by an offensive atmosphere, or 
submerged in water, the will, by a direct control can 
suspend respiration for a very short time; and for similar 
reasons, it can exert its power directly on the apparatus 
of respiratory muscles, to accelerate their action. By a 
voluntary control of the respiratory apparatus to a neces- 
sary extent, we are also enabled to speak, sing, &c. 
Yet the function of respiration is properly an involuntary 
one, and is performed independently of the will. So 
in regard to the stomach: — the will must control the 
functions of chewing and swallowing the food: but the 
instant the act of swallowing is performed, the food is 
beyond the direct control of the will. 

§ 303. Properly speaking therefore, the mind cannot 
exert the power of the will directly, on any organ strict- 
ly within the domain of organic life. — The ordinary, 
calm, and gentle operations of the mind have little, if 
any effect upon the nerves of organic life. ! But when 
the exercises of the mind are intense and protracted, the 

192 graham's lectures on the 

whole domain of organic life sympathizes with the brain; 
and when these exercises are of an excited and impas- 
sioned kind, the sympathetic influence is poured with 
considerable energy upon the nerves of organic life, and 
all the functions of that domain are more or less disturb- 
ed; while at the same time, a strong emotion, or sensa- 
tion of a peculiar kind, is produced in the epigastric 
centre; usually referred to the heart; — but the stomach, 
more than any other organ, is the true seat of it. Hence 
the function of this organ is more affected by mental 
influence, than that of any other: and indeed, it is in a 
considerable measure, through the stomach that the other 
organs are affected by mental influence. In all violent 
passions however, the whole domain of organic life, 
seems to be, as it were, inundated by the lava of the 
mental volcano, and the actions of the several organs are 
convulsively accelerated or retarded to a most fearful and 
dangerous extent: and in some instances, all the func- 
tions of life are suddenly arrested as by a lightning stroke, 
and death is instantaneously induced! 

§304. All mental excitements therefore, are causes 
of some degree of disturbance to the nerves of organic 
life: and when violent, and frequently repeated, they 
necessarily induce, and permanently establish a morbid 
irritability and sympathy throughout the whole domain, 
generally involving also, the brain and spinal marrow; 
and especially the brain. Functional aberration and 
derangement necessarily result from this state of things, 
leading to disease and change of structure in the or- 

§ 305. On the other hand, the mind sympathizes in 
the most delicate and powerful manner with the nerves 
of organic life, in all their general affections and condi- 
tions. — When this system of nerves is in perfect health, 


and under the influence of appropriate stimuli — such as 
proper air in the lungs, proper food in the stomach, 
proper chyle in the lacteals, proper blood in the arte- 
ries, &c. the instinctive wants of the system are satis- 
fied, every organ performs its function with tone and 
alacrity, and a delightful communion of sympathy per- 
vades the whole domain. In all this there is no local 
feeling — no animal perception of a distinct sensation in 
any particular part; — nay indeed, there is not the least 
animal consciousness of any internal organ. Without 
being conscious whence it comes, or on what it depends, 
the animal is simply conscious of a general, and as it 
were, spiritual joy. 

And in this consciousness the playful lamb 

Skips with delight and gambols round its darn; 

The calf and colt, from their confinement freed, 

Stretch their young limbs and bound along the mead; 

The noble horse, with wildly flowing mane 

And wide-stretched nostrils, gallops o'er the plain, 

Lifts high his head, as of his freedom proud, 

Snuffs the pure breeze and snorts his joy aloud. 

And, in this consciousness, with infant glee, 

The tottering child plays round the mother's knee; — 

The older sister — though oft chid as rude, 

Yields to the spirit of her romping mood; — 

With her loved brother seeks the open air, 

And they like lambs, run, leap, and frolic there. — 

E'en full-grown man, though crippled, blighted, cursed, 

By evil habits long and fondly nursed, 

In healthier moments, still doth often feel 

Something of this pure spirit o'er his bosom steal! 

The mind, in all its faculties and operations, feels the 
bland exhilaration, but it is not conscious of its nature, 
nor of its source. The thoughts flow with greater ease 
and increased energy, — the imagination becomes more 
vivid and vigorous, and the memory more clear and active. 

194 graham's lectures on the 

But the mind is not at all conscious that this state of 
things is in any degree, connected with the condition of the 
body: — on the contrary, it thinks that the exhilaration is 
aboriginally and purely mental ; and that the pleasurable 
feeling, results entirely from its own felicitous exercises. 
This delightful sympathy between the nervous system of 
organic life and the mind, may be preserved through 
life; and were all the laws of constitution and relation, 
which our benevolent Creator has established in our 
nature, properly obeyed, it would be so. While the 
nerves of organic life are preserved in a perfectly healthy 
state, the mind is habitually serene and cheerful, as in 
healthy childhood. Moral causes may give it pain, but 
as soon as the direct action of those causes ceases, it 
springs elastic from the oppression, like that of a little 
child which turns from the chidings or chastisements of 
a parent, to forget its sorrows and to break into the 
smiles of its revived enjoyment, before the tears are 
dried from its cheek. But when, by the continued 
irritations of the stomach and other organs, the organic 
sensibility of the nerves becomes diseased, and a morbid 
irritability and sympathy are gradually induced and per- 
manently established, the mind, sympathizing with the 
nerves, and yet without the consciousness of that sym- 
pathy, gradually loses its habitual serenity, and by 
degrees, becomes shrouded, first, in the occasional and 
then the more constant pensiveness of early youth, and 
this is followed by the darker shades of youthful discon- 
tent — a deep, continual restlessness! — We are unhap- 
py — vet we know not wn y- — We long for relief— but we 
know not what. — We would go — but we know not where! 
— We would cease to be what we are — yet we know 
not what we would be. This sickly sentimentality, 
tends always to a more confirmed and painful melan- 


cboly, from which we only find occasional relief, in the 
intoxications of a misguided world! and too frequently, the 
very means of our relief, serve to aggravate our disease, 
till we become completely wrapped in the black and 
cheerless pall of unutterable despondency. — And even 
they who seek relief in the faith which looks forward to 
a better world, too often have little other enjoyment of 
their existence, than that which arises from the hope of 
what they shall be beyond the grave: and this is often torn 
from them by morbid doubts and fears. In all these 
painful sympathies as in the pleasurable ones, the mind 
has no consciousness that it sympathizes with the body; 
but fully believes that all its sufferings are purely of a 
mental and moral nature; and it seeks and fixes on some 
object which it believes to be the cause of all its misery. 
— The dread of becoming poor — of losing friends — or 
reputation — or some other imaginary evil haunts the mind 
thus laboring under the influence of a diseased body, — 
perhaps to utter madness; and too frequently, the misera- 
ble victim rushes from the world in the anguish of insup- 
portable despair. 

§ 306. Such are the direct relations, between the mind 
and the nerves of organic fife. — The indirect relations 
are numerous and important; — many of which I shall ex- 
plain hereafter. All those predispositions and peculiarities 
which we call hereditary, are transmitted from parent to 
child through the medium of this system of nerves, — 
such as temperament, predisposition to consumption, 
dyspepsy and all other diseases of the body; and also 
the mental and moral predispositions: — for I shall show 
hereafter, that, admitting all that Gall and Spurzheim 
claim concerning the organization of the brain and its 
relations to the mind, still the nerves of organic life are 

196 graham's lectures on the 

the media through which all cerebral peculiarities are 
transmitted from parent to child. 

§ 307. Like the other solids which I have described, 
all the nerves of the body are much more soft and pulpy 
in early life than at a later period. In advanced age they 
usually become much drier, smaller, and harder. Ordi- 
narily, in civic life, the internal ganglions with their cords 
begin to diminish in size and to become paler, drier and 
harder about the fortieth year: but the period is greatly 
varied by the habits of the individual. 


The Cellular, muscular and nervous tissues and their vital properties, 
compose the oigans and endow them with functional power — Defini- 
tion of tissue, organ, vessels, viscera, vascular system, capillary system, 
function, vital economy, &c. — Change of matter in organized bodies 
— They are organized and endowed accordingly — Vegetable bodies, 
how nourished and organized — Animal bodies, how nourished and 
organized — Grand function of the alimentary cavity — Masticatory or- 
gans, jaws, teeth, tongue, &c. their development, character and func- 
tions — The fibrous, serous and mucous membranes, their situation and 
office — The anatomy, disposition and functions of the skin and mucous 
membrane particularly described — Simple absorbents and exhalants — 
mucous follicles and glands — Mucous membrane forming the oeso- 
phagus, stomach and intestines, — Salivary glands, liver, pancreas, 
kidneys, &c. — Muscles of the alimentary canal — their arrangement, 
&c. — The peritoneal coat — Nerves of alimentary canal, &c. — Re- 
spiratory apparatus — the structure and functional purposes of the 
ral parts — larynx, windpipe, lungs, diaphragm, ribs, &c. — Organs 
of circulation— heart, arteries, veins, capillaries; — their distribution, 
fce. — The portal system and the spleen — The lymphatics— their 
Btructure, situation and office— The lacteals — Circulating forces— 
Propelling power of the heart, &c— General law of vital action 


and expenditure, and flow of arterial blood — Local increase of 
circulation — Organs of taste, smell, hearing and sight — Hair and 

§ 308. Having given a general description of the 
Cellular, Muscular, and Nervous Tissues in their separate 
fonns, and having described their vital properties, and 
presented a general view of the disposition of these three 
elementary tissues, in the formation of the living animal 
body, I now proceed, after a very brief recapitulation, to 
the consideration of the structure of the particular organs. 

§ 309. The Cellular tissue, I have said, (§ 158.)is the 
lowest order of animal structure. It pervades every part 
of the body, constitutes the general frame of every organ, 
connects all the tissues and binds all parts together. 
(§ 1G8 — 171.) Its property which is called vital, because 
it is much greater in the living, than in the dead body, is. 

§ 310. The Muscular tissue (§ 159.) is a higher order 
of animal structure than the cellular. Its most important 
property in the vital economy, is contractility. This is 
the element of all voluntary motion, and of most, if not 
all positive involuntary motion, in the living body. The 
muscles are divided into those of voluntary, and those of 
involuntary motion, (§ 194.) or those of animal and those 
of organic life. The former being mostly attached to the 
bones, and lying principally on the outside of the frame, 
and around the bones of the upper, and lower limbs: 
(§ 189.) and the latter being situated in the hollow organs 
composing the respiratory, digestive, and circulatory 

§ 311. The Nervous tissue, with its important prop- 
erties, relations and sympathies, I have described at large 
in my last two lectures. (§ 160—165. and § 202—307.) 


198 graham's lectures on the 

§312. Those three general tissues, I have said, (§ 167.) 
together with the more solid matter of the bones, compose 
all the organs and parts of the animal system, and in en- 
tering into the texture of the several organs, each tissue 
carries with it, and retains during life and health, its own 
peculiar vital properties; and these properties, viz: cel- 

§ 213. Though these three general kinds of animal 
structure, are, in the language of modern physiology, 
called tissues, yet, strictly speaking, a tissue is a partic- 
ular arrangement of fibres or filaments, in the formation 
of an organ. " An organ is a compound body, consist- 
ing of a specific arrangement of different tissues." The 
internal organs are, in the descriptions of anatomy and 
physiology, divided into vessels and viscera. The vessels, 
such as the arteries, veins, lymphatics, &c. are called 
the vascular system; and the minute extremities of the 
arteries and veins, which, together with the lymphatics, 
compose a large proportion of the bulk of the whole body, 
are called the capillary system. The stomach, liver, 
pancreas, spleen, intestinal tube, &c. are collectively 
called the viscera, or singly, a viscus. A function is the 
office which an organ performs. And the vital econ- 
omy consists of the general co-operation of the whole 
assemblage of living organs, in the performance of their 
several functions, to one grand result, viz. the sustenance 
of the body in all its organization and in all its functional 
powers and operations. With these recapitulations and 


explanations, we are now prepared to enter upon the 
consideration of the structure of particular organs. 

§ 314. We have seen that all living bodies are formed 
from the common inorganic matter of the world; (§ 49. 
112. 118.) that the matter composing organized bodies, 
is brought into the organic arrangement and structure, by 
vital forces acting in and by living organs, which over- 
come and subdue the inorganic affinities, (§ 121.) and 
hold the organized matter, as it were, in reluctant obedi- 
ance to vital power: and hence, the matter composing 
living bodies, has always a tendency to yield to the affinities, 
and to return to the more simple and primitive forms of 
inorganic matter. Hence also, as a general fact, matter 
is less permanent in organic, than in inorganic forms. 
(§ 133.) It does not remain permanently in organized 
structure during the life of the body but, particle by par- 
ticle, is continually giving place to new matter, so that, 
in the course of a few years, all the matter in the human 
body, undergoes a change. The two great processes 
of composition and decomposition, — of incorporation and 
elimination, are therefore, continually going on in the 
living body. Foreign matter on the one hand, is continu- 
ally assimilated and incorporated; and organized matter, on 
the other hand, is continually decomposed and eliminated. 
All living bodies are therefore, adapted in their organiza- 
tion, to this condition. They have organs which act 
on foreign matter, and assimilate it to their own nature, 
and organs which distribute the assimilated matter, to 
every part of the organic system, and organs which 
convert this matter into the various structures and sub- 
stances of the body, and organs which decompose these 
structures and substances, and organs which convey the 
worn out andexcrementitious matter from the vital domain. 
§ 315. The particular organization of the different 

200 graham's lectures on the 

species of living bodies, corresponds with the character 
and condition of the foreign matter on which they sub- 

§ 316. Vegetable bodies are nourished entirely by 
aqueous and gaseous forms of matter. The former, as a 
general fact, they derive from the bosom of the earth, the 
latter, from the atmosphere. (§ 208.) Hence they require 
no masticatory organs, and no internal cavity to contain 
their food, and to reduce it to the fluid state; but they 
send their roots into the earth, to imbibe its moisture, and 
extend their trunk and branches, and spread out their 
leaves in the atmosphere, to inspire its gases; and remain 
through life, fixed to the spot from which they spring, 
elaborating all the varieties of vegetable substance from 
inorganic matter, and thus preparing food for a higher 
order of living bodies. But animal bodies, being nour- 
ished by substances whose character and condition render 
voluntary powers and locomotion necessary, (§293.) re- 
quire an internal cavity or sack to contain and digest their 
food, and prepare it for the action of those organs, which 
correspond with the roots of plants. And hence, every ani 
mal, from the zoophyte to man, has an internal cavity for 
the reception and digestion of its food: and this is one of 
the grand peculiarities which distinguish animals from 

Alimentary Organs. 

§ 317. But though all animals are alike, in possessing 
an internal cavity for the reception and digestion of their 
food, yet they differ most widely in the construction, 
capacity, and general arrangement of their alimentary 
apparatus: — each species, being adapted in its organiza- 
tion, to its appropriate kind of aliment. 


§318. In some, the alimentary organization consists 
of a simple sack, with a single aperture, through which, 
every thing it receives and evacuates, has its ingress and 
egress. In others, it consists of a tube or canal, of nearly 
equal size, in all its parts, extending directly from the 
mouth to the posterior end of the trunk; and having an 
aperture for the reception of food, and one for the evac- 
uation of excrementitious matter. — In others again, the 
alimentary tube is convolved or folded, so that, its length 
is several times that of the body, and portions of it are 
greatly enlarged, so as to form what are called the stom- 
ach, the colon, &c. 

§ 319. In those animals that subsist on food which is 
rapidly digested, and which requires a quick passage, the 
stomach is simple, and the alimentary tube, comparatively 
short, and its general capacity is comparatively small: 
while in those that feed on substances which contain little 
nutriment, and are slowly digested, the canal is compara- 
tively much longer, and either has several capacious 
enlargements, or the stomach and colon are so constructed 
as to retain their contents a considerable time. In a 
third general class of animals, which subsist on a more 
nutricious aliment, such as the farinacious seeds, grains, 
roots, &c. and various fruits, the alimentary tube, as a 
general rule, is comparatively longer than that of the first 
class just described, and shorter than that of the second; 
but its general calibre or capacity is comparatively large, 
and the stomach and colon are fitted for a slow passage of 
their contents. 

§ 320. Rut whether the alimentary cavity be a simple 
sack, or a straight tube, or a convolved canal with one 
or many enlargements, its grand function is always the 
same, viz: converting the food into that partially assimi- 
lated substance lohich is called chyme, and presenting the 

202 graham's lectures on the 

chyme to those organs which elaborate the chyle from it, 
and conveying the fecal matter from the body. 

§ 321. In regard to other portions of the alimentary 
apparatus, animals differ as widely, as they do in respect 
to the internal cavity. Some simply imbibe a liquid ali- 
ment; — some swallow substances of more consistency, 
which readily dissolve in the cavity, without any mechani- 
cal trituration or breaking down; — others swallow harder 
substances which are triturated or mashed by an internal 
apparatus; — and others have organs in the oral cavity or 
mouth, with which they masticate their food. In respect 
to the masticatory organs, animals differ again, very con- 
siderably. Some are fitted to tear and cut flesh into 
small masses, others to crop the grass and grind the 
woody fibre, and others to cut and mash the bulbous roots, 
or fruits, or other substances, which constitute the appro- 
priate aliment of the species. 

§ 322. The alimentary apparatus of man, consists of 
masticatory organs, a meatpipe, a stomach, an alimen- 
tary tube several times the length of the body, together 
with various glands, vessels, &c &c. 

Masticatory Organs. 

§ 323. The oral cavity is formed by the bones of the 
head and face, united by cartilages, and bound together by 
ligaments, and invested by muscles and membranes. 
The upper jaw, with all the other bones of the face, ex- 
cept the lower jaw, is firmly attached to the skull, and 
only moves with the whole head. The lower jaw, is a 
separate bone; having somewhat the form of a horse- 
shoe, and is attached to the temporal bones of the skull, 
by a peculiar joint, which admits of a free backwards 
and forwards, or up and down motion, and also, a con- 


siderable extent of lateral motion. These motions are 
performed in chewing, talking &c. by several pairs of 
appropriate muscles. Each jaw is composed of an 
external, and internal plate of dense bone, and an inter- 
mediate bony substance which is exceedingly spongy. 
In this spongy structure, are the cavities which contain 
the roots of the teeth. Before the teeth are formed, 
small rounded sacks are produced, in the places of the 
teeth. These sacks are formed of two membranes; — 
an outer one, which adheres very closely to the gums, 
and is destined to surround the roots of the teeth, as a 
permanent periostium; and an inner one, on which are 
dispersed the vessels and nerves, destined to form the 
tooth, and to supply its texture. Between these two 
membranes, is a small quantity of serous fluid. In due 
time, a soft gelatinous pulp rises from the base of the 
internal membrane, and gradually assumes the exact 
shape of the tooth: and, at the same time, numerous 
nerves and vessels are given off from the inner membrane, 
and distributed to the pulp or germ, which is itself 
enveloped by a thin vascular membrane. These vessels 
soon commence the work of forming the bony substance 
of the tooth. In the single teeth, the process of ossi- 
fication begins in a single point, at the top. In the 
double teeth, it begins simultaneously, at the several cor- 
ners or elevations, at the top. A thin shell is first formed on 
the outside, and then, layer after layer is added inwardly, 
— gradually diminishing the cavity, and reducing the size 
of the pulp. When the crown of the tooth is consider- 
ably advanced, the pulp throws one, two, or three branch- 
es downwards, according to the number of roots which 
the tooth has, and the root, or roots are formed in the 
same manner as the crown is. In the mean time, the vas- 
cular membrane, which envelops the germ, and which 

204 Graham's lectures on the 

surrounds the crown of the tooth, commences the secre- 
tion of a fluid, which gradually hardens into the enamel. 
When it becomes necessary for the tooth to emerge 
from the gum, a set of vessels, called absorbents, which 
I shall soon describe, (§ 385.) begin their operations, 
and remove before the rising tooth all the superincum- 
bent substance. The tooth, at length, lifts its body 
above the gum, which is a dense substance composed of 
the cellular tissue; and which surrounds the neck of each 
tooth, and covers the edges of the jaw-bones, affording 
a firm support to the teeth. 

§ 324. The two inner, front teeth, in the lower jaw, 
are generally, the first which make their appearance, 
about the seventh month after birth. These are soon 
followed by the two corresponding ones, in the upper 
jaw; and to these, succeed the two outer front teeth of 
each jaw; and then follow, the first molar or double 
teeth of the under and upper jaws; and then, the eye, or 
corner teeth, and lastly, the second, or posterior double 
teeth appear. So that, in the course of three years, the 
whole twenty deciduous, or temporary teeth, make their 
appearance. (Fig 20.) 

§ 325. When the pulp or germ, which produces the 
temporary teeth, in the manner I have described, is fully 
developed, and about to commence its process of ossi- 
fication, it gives off a very small germ, or sac, formed 
precisely like itself in its first state, and adhering to it 
by a minute branch or cord. For this new germ, a cav- 
ity is prepared by the absorbents, in the spongy part of the 
jaw bone, where it lies carefully and securely deposited, 
till the jaws are sufficiently lengthened and enlarged for 
the development of the second, or permanent teeth. (Fig. 
20.) In the present general state of the human constitu- 
tion, the process of second dentition ordinarily commences 



about the sixth or seventh year of life. The permanent 
teeth are developed in precisely the same manner, and 
appear in nearly the same order, as the first teeth: and 
as they advance in development, the roots of the first 
teeth in a perfectly normal and healthy state of the sys- 

Fig. 20. 

The temporary teeth, showing the germs of the permanent teeth. 

tern, are gradually absorbed and carried away, till nothing 
is left but the part above the gums, which becomes very 
loose, and is easily removed. Sometimes however, in 
the present physiological condition of man, it becomes 
necessary to remove a temporary tooth by violence, 
before its root is absorbed away. 

§ 320. The last of the permanent teeth, do not usually 
appear, till about the twentieth year of life; and they are 
therefore called the wisdom teeth. These are double 
teeth, and are situated in the back part of the jaws. 
When all the permanent teeth are developed, there are 
two front, one corner and five cheek teeth, in each half of 

206 graham's lectures on the 

both jaws; making in the whole, thirty two. — The four 
front teeth, in each jaw, have single roots, and chisel- 
shaped crowns for cutting, and are called the incisors, 
(fig. 21. No. 1. 2.) The corner teeth, between the from 
and cheek teeth, are the first step of transition, from the 
chisel-shaped cutters, to the square-crowned mashers. 
They therefore, of necessity, take more of the rounded 
and pointed shape, than the front teeth. They have 
each, but one root, which is however, longer than those 
of the front and cheek teeth. Their crowns as it were, 
combine the forms of the front teeth and the first of the 
cheek teeth, being somewhat flattened like the front, and 
yet approaching to a single point, like one of the elevations 
of the first cheek teeth. (Fig 21. No. 3.) They are 
therefore, called the cuspids, or spear-shaped teeth: but 
more commonly, the eye teeth. The first two cheek 
teeth on each side and in both jaws, have the form of two 
corner teeth united by their inner faces. They have each, 
a single root, but it is generally, somewhat flattened and 
grooved, like two roots united; and in some instances, 
it divides into two. Their crowns approach to the 
square form, or oblong square, and have two elevations 
at the top, the one on the exterior, and the other, on the 
interior face, appearing like the points of the corner teeth: 
and hence, they are called the bicuspids, or two-pointed 
teeth. (Fig. 21. No. 4. 5.) The three remaining cheek 
teeth, on each side, and in both jaws, have the form of two 
bicuspids, or four corner teeth united. Those of the 
upper jaw, have three roots, and in some rare cases, four, 
which are considerably shorter, and much more divergent 
or spreading, than those of the under jaw, to avoid pene- 
trating the cavities in the upper jaw belonging to the olfac- 
tory apparatus, (§ 399.) and at the same time, to give 
sufficient firmness to the teeth. The crowns -of all these 



teeth, are large and nearly square, with four or five slight 
elevations, on the grinding or mashing face. These are 
called the molares or grinders. (Fig. 21. No. 6. 7. 8.) 

§ 327. The bony substance of the teeth, is consider- 
ably harder than that of the other bones of the body, and 
contains less gelatinous matter. — (§ 169.) The enamel, 
which covers the bony substance of the crown or body of 
each tooth, and extends down to the edge of the gum, is 
far the hardest substance in the living body. It is indeed, 


gbaham's lectures on the 

a species of organic crystallization. This substance does 
not appear to be in any manner, nourished or reproduced, 
in man, alter the tooth is fully developed; but, being 
extremely hard, or dense, it sustains the friction of mas- 
tication, for many years, without being worn through. 
The internal cavity of the teeth occupied by the pulp is 
never whoily filled up: but it is considerably smaller in 
advanced hie than it is in youth. (Fig. 22.) It continues 

Fifi. 22 

by small canals, through each root; — and, at these canals, 
t! i vessels and nerves of the teeth, enter; (§ 254.) and after 
ramifying upon the membrane that lines the cavity, (§ 323.) 
they are distributed to the bony substance; penetrating 
to the enamel: but they do not enter this last named 
substance. (Fig. 23.) These vessels and nerves are 
largest, and pervade the bony substance of the tooth most 
expensively, in early life. They gradually diminish in 
size, and become obliterated in their extremities, as life 
ad ances, and recede from the surface inwardly towards 
the central cavity. When the habits of life are not in 
strict accordance with the physiological laws of the body 
the canals in the roots of the teeth, often entirely close in 
old age and the teeth are wholly cut off from vital suste- 
na ice, tnd then, they soon become loose, and drop out 
of the jaws, or their roots are removed by the absorbents. 



§ 328. In the human head, the front teeth are intended 
to cut the food into small masses, convenient for the 
action of the cheek teeth, which are designed to mash or 
grind it finely, before it is swallowed. This process is 

Fig. 23. 

The permanent teeth, showing the entrance of the nerves into the 
ends of the roots. 

called mastication: and while it is going on, other organs 
co-operate to prepare the food for deglutition, and to 
commence the process of assimilation. 

§ 329. The tongue, I hardly need describe. It is 
composed of many different pairs of muscles, which ren- 
der it capable of acting in every direction, and in almost 
every manner; and is covered by the mucous membrane, 
which lines the mouth. (§ 287.) It assists in masticating 
the food, by continually throwing it between the grinders 

210 graham's lectures on the 

of the upper and lower jaws. It also assists in the act of 
swallowing it, in a manner, I shall describe when I come to 
speak more particularly of the functions of these parts. 

Skin and Mucous Membrane. 

!0. 1 have already described three general kinds 
of membranes. 1. The fibrous, (§ 169.) which every- 
where surrounds the bones, cartilages, and tendons, — lines 
the spinal canal, the cavity of the skull, &c. 2. The 
Serous, (§ 176.) which lines the closed cavities, such as 
the thorax and abdomen, and surrounds all the organs of 
those cavities. (Fig. 35.) 3. The membrane which cov- 
ers the whole external surface of the body, like a sac, and 
passing over the lips, and up the nostrils, lines the mouth, 
na>al cavities, throat, windpipe, lungs, meatpipe, stomach, 
alimentary tube, and every other internal cavity, which 
has an opening outward or which by a mouth or canal, 
communicates with the external world. (§ 287.) The 
portion of this membrane which covers the external sur- 
face I have said, ($289.) is called the skin: that lining 
the interna] cavities, is sailed the mucous membrane. 
The general office of the fibrous and serous membranes, 
is to cover, and line the parts to which they are appro- 
priated, and in some measure, to keep them in their 
proper positions, and to furnish the cavities which they 
line, with a serous, glairy fluid, by which the parts that 
move upon each other, are moistened and lubricated; and 
also, to absorb whatever fluids may be introduced into 
these cavities.* For this kind of exhalation and absorption, 
they require nothing more than the minute extremities of 
the arteries and veins, and the lymphatics. But the gen- 

* Tt is not a settled point, whether the fibrous membrane in any situ- 
ation, performs these functions of secretion and absorption. 


eral office of the skin and mucous membrane, is much 
more diversified, and complicated. This extended mem- 
brane as I have stated, (§288.) constitutes the general 
confines of the vital domain, and is constructed with ref- 
erence to all the relations, which that domain holds to 
the external world; and through it, must pass, by the 
action of living organs, every thing that enters into that 
domain, or egresses from it. If pure aqueous fluid is 
required to enter that domain with little or no change, 
appropriate organs in this membrane, must absorb and 
convey it thither. If there be an excess of aqueous mat- 
ter within the vital domain, this membrane must furnish 
organs to exhale, or eliminate it from the system. If 
nutrient matter is to enter the domain of life, appropriate 
organs in this membrane, must elaborate it from the con- 
tents of the alimentary cavity, by an assimilating process 
peculiar to themselves; and, as it were, hand it over to 
other functionaries of the system, to be subjected to other 
processes, and finally, disposed of, for the general good 
of the body. If mucilaginous and oleaginous substances 
are to be secreted from the vital domain, to lubricate 
the exterior surface of this membrane and protect its 
myriads of delicate little organs, and preserve them in 
proper conditions to perform their functions, or to oil the 
external surface of the body, to preserve the skin from 
the injurious action of various external agents, other 
appropriate organs in this membrane must secrete those 
substances. And if substances of a yet more exalted or 
complicated character, such as the saliva, the pancreatic 
fluid, the bile, &c. are to be secreted either for the purposes 
of the vital economy in carrying on its assimilating pro- 
cesses, or for the sake of separating excrementitious mat- 
ter from the fluids of the system, and eliminating it from 
the vital domain, this membrane must furnish the organs for 
the performance of these various and wonderful functions. 


Absorbing, Exhaling and Secreting Organs, 

§ 331. In giving a general description of the skin and 
mucous membrane, (§287.) I said that, countless num- 
bers, of the almost inconceivably minute terminations 
of capillary vessels, of the sanguiferous and lymphatic 
systems, pass through the meshes of this membrane, and 
form a close web or plexus upon its exterior surface. 
Some of these minute vessels, thus situated, are employed 
in their simple form, in absorbing such aqueous and other 
substances, as are at any time, permitted to pass into 
the vital domain with little or no assimilating change. 
These pervade the whole external and internal membrane; 
but mostly abound in the mucous membrane of the ali- 
mentary and respiratory cavities; and especially, in the 
stomach and alimentary tube. Others again, are employed 
in their simple form, in throwing off, or eliminating like 
substances from the system, in the state of vapor and of 
sensible fluids, &c. These also, pervade the whole mem- 
brane, but mostly abound in the lungs and external skin. 
Another set of these vessels, are employed in their sim- 
ple form, in secreting the nutrient matter by which the 
system is sustained.* These innumerably abound in the 
alimentary cavity, and especially, in the small intestines. 
It is contended also, by some physiologists, that organs 
capable of performing this office, exist in the lungs and 
external skin; and various experiments have been made, 
and anecdotes told, to prove that, hunger may be ap- 
peased, and nutrition, to some extent, sustained, by the 
absorption of these surfaces; but nothing conclusive, nor 
satisfactory has been accomplished: and the utmost that 

* This process is by all writers on physiology, called " absorbing;" 
but with utter impropriety. The lacteals no more absorb the chyle 
than the liver absorbs the bile, as will be shown hereafter. (§ 465.) 


can be affirmed, is the possibility of a vicarious function 
of this kind, to some extent; but this is not a normal 
function of the parts. 

§ 332. In regard to the solvent fluid of the stomach, 
it is not yet ascertained whether it is secreted by some of 
these little vessels, in their simple form, or in their 
more complicated glandular arrangement. It is common 
for writers on physiology, to speak of the glands which 
secrete the gastric juice, but the existence of these glands 
has never been demonstrated. 

Follicles and Glands. 

§ 333. The remaining functions belonging to, or im- 
mediately connected with the great enveloping and limit- 
ing membrane, appear to be performed by more compli- 
cated organs; and yet, when thoroughly analyzed, they 
are found to be scarcely less simple, than those described. 
The glandular follicles are the simplest kind of these 
organs. These are little bottle-shaped sacs imbedded 
in the substance of the membrane, with their mouths 
opening on its surface. The membrane continues into 
these mouths and lines the internal cavities of the sacs; 
or in other words, the sacs are formed by the membrane 
itself, and supplied with numerous nerves and blood- 
vessels, and appear to possess a contractile tissue, by 
which they are enabled, at any time, to expel their con- 
tents. These abound in every part of the membrane; 
but duster more numerously in some parts than in others, 
as the wants of the organic economy demand. Though 
apparently similar in their anatomical structure, they 
differ very considerably in the character of their func- 
tions. Some of them secrete the mucus which every- 
where lubricates the membrane, and imbeds and protects 

214 graham's lectures on the 

its delicate nerves and vessels. (§ 287.) Others, situated 
on the external surface of the body, secrete the unctu- 
ous matter which oils the skin: — of these sebaceous fol- 
licles, there are said to be not less than a hundred and 
twenty millions: — others, situated in the exterior cavities 
of the ears, secrete the cerumen or wax of those cavities. 
Whether the coloring matter of the skin, is a distinct 
secretion, by a special set of organs, or, whether it is 
an effect of the action of light and heat and perhaps the 
oxygen of the atmosphere upon the mucous coat, is yet 
an unsettled point. 

§ 334. The next form of a gland, is still more com- 
plicated, and much more extensive. Instead of the 
little sacs which I have just described, the membrane 
forms a tube like the barrel of a small quill, and this Lube, 
like the main stem of a shrub, gives off many branches and 
each of these branches divides into a very great number 
of twigs, and these are all hollow and formed by the same 
continuous mucous membrane; so that, all the minute 
hollow twigs open into the hollow branches, and all the 
hollow branches open into the hollow stem, or main tube, 
and this opens upon the face of the great membrane. 
This ramified tube or duct is more or less extensive, 
according to the size of the gland, and the particular 
character of its function. But whether more or less 
extensive, it only differs from the little sacs, in shape 
and extensiveness. — To complete the structure and func- 
tional capacity of the gland, an artery advances to the 
main tube, and suddenly divides into a great number 
of branches, and each of its branches, into an immense 
number of twigs (fig. 24.) and these minute twigs 
terminate in the membrane which forms the hollow twigs 
and branches of the tube or duct: and where these arte- 
rial twigs terminate, an equal number of venous twigs 


arise, which run together, and form branches, and these 
run together, and form the venous trunk, or trunks of 
the gland, corresponding in ramification, with the artery, 
but generally somewhat greater in capacity; and passing 
from the gland by the side of the artery. With these 

Fig. 24. 

An artery of a gland dissected out. 

vessels, which almost form a dense plexus, are also as- 
sociated a great number of lymphatic vessels: and all 
these capillary arteries, veins and lymphatics are largely 
supplied with nerves of organic life (§231.) and inti- 
mately woven together into a single organ, by a delicate 
cellular tissue; and finally, the whole are enveloped in a 
serous membrane; and thus the gland is completed. 
(Fig. 25.) Some of the glands are provided with a 
membranous sac, which is also lined with the mucous 
membrane, and in which the secreted fluid or substance 
is deposited for a time. 

§ 335. This is a general description of what are 
called the conglomerate glands, such as the salivary 
glands, the pancreas, the liver, &c. In one important 
respect, however, the structure of the liver, differs from 

216 graham's lectures on the 

that of other glands. This peculiarity I shall notice 
when I come to speak of its particular function. (§ 381.) 
But as a general statement of this class of glands, the arte- 
ries pour their blood into their myriads of minute twigs, 
which terminate in the mucous membrane that forms the 
Fig. 25. 

A gland, a a, with its excretory duct, c, and 
branches, b. 

hollow twigs and branches of the main tube or duct of 
the gland, and there the peculiar secretion of the gland 
takes place, in a manner of which we are totally 
ignorant. All we can say is that, it is an effect of 
vitality, which seems, in many instances, actually to 
possess the power of transmuting one substance into 
another: (§ 51.) for, many of the secretions are totally 
unlike any thing to be found in the blood, from which 
they are secreted. The blood thrown into these vessels, 
which is not employed in the secretion, becomes changed 
in its character by the process, and is taken up by the 
venous capillaries, and carried off into the general re- 
turning circulation. The office of the lymphatic vessels 
in these glands, is not fully ascertained, but it is supposed 
to be the absorption of such substances as ought not to 
pass into the secretion, nor to be carried off to the heart 
unchanged, in the venous blood. These substances may 
be, impurities brought into the gland in the blood, or 


extravasated fluids, or the decomposed matter or the 
lymph of the gland; and, in some cases, the lymphatics 
are supposed to absorb the more aqueous parts of the 
secretion itself. — These glands are situated in different 
parts of the body, according to the wants of the vital 
economy. A considerable number of them however, 
appertain to the alimentary cavity, and constitute a por- 
tion of the alimentary apparatus. It may therefore, almost 
be said that, the great enveloping and limiting membrane, 
which covers the external surface of the body, and lines all 
the open cavities, is one extended and complicated organ of 
secretion and excretion, — of absorption and of depuration. 
§ 336. The external skin I have said, is covered every- 
where, by a thin membranous form of horny matter 
called the cuticle or epidermis; (§ 287.) and some anat- 
omists say that, this epidermis extends over the whole 
mucous membrane. Dr. Horner of Philadelphia assures 
us that he has fully demonstrated its existence in the 
small intestine, and he therefore concludes that, it per- 
vades the whole alimentary cavity.* How the substan- 
ces which enter, or pass from the vital domain, get 
through the epidermis, where it does exist, is a question 
much disputed. Some physiologists say that, there are 
myriads of pores in the epidermis of the external skin, 
through which the perspired fluids, &c. pass; while 
others confidently deny the existence of a single one of 
these pores, and affirm that, whatever passes through the 
epidermis, does so by a kind of infiltration: and this, they 
think, is fully proved, by the fact that, when a blister is 
raised upon the skin, the serum which accumulates under 
the epidermis, does not escape, as it would, if there were 
numerous pores through which it could pass. But this 
seems to prove too much; for it equally proves the im- 

* See Appendix, Note A. 


218 graham's lectures on the 

perviousness of the cuticle by infiltration. Dr. Horner 
says he found it wholly impervious to the air, with whirl] 
he inflated it, in a section of the intestine. The truth 
however, seems to me, to be most probably, this; when 
the cuticle, or epidermis is in its proper place, and holds 
its proper relation to the subjacent vessels and tissues, 
it presents openings to the mouths of those vessels, through 
which, they pour out, or drink in such substances as they 
give or take; but w r hen it is raised up, and separated from 
its proper place and connexion, either by a serous fluid 
or by air, those openings, from the peculiar construction 
of the parts s by which they are formed, become perfectly 
closed, and render the cuticle wholly impervious. The 
nerves of animal, and of organic sensibility, intimately 
associated with the minute vessels of the skin and mucous 
membrane, I have sufficiently described. (§ 290.) 

. § 337^ I have been thus minute and particular, in de- 
scribing the great limiting membrane, which constitutes the 
confines of the vital domain, because it is the seat of 
many of the most important functions of the organic 
economy, and, as I have said, (§330.) is constructed 
with reference to all the relations, which the vital 
domain holds to the external world; and hence, it is 
impossible for any one to have a clear and full under- 
standing of the laws of constitution and relation, under 
which man exists, without knowing the organization and 
physiological endowments of these important parts. 

The Digestive Organs. 

§ 338. The mucous membrane then, we perceive, is 
the grand seat of all the primary processes of alimenta- 
tion; of the various functions of secretion and excretion, 
of respiration, &c. &c, and hence, it is so arranged as to 
constitute the most important portion of all the organs, by 


which these functions are performed. Having lined the 
mouth and nasal cavities, it passes back, and unites in 
the fauces or throat, and thence descending, forms a 
funnel-shaped cavity, called the pharynx, which tapers 
downward, and gathers into a tube. This tube, called 
the oesophagus or meatpipe, continues downward, some 
twelve or fifteen inches, and having entered, through a 
small opening of the midriff or diaphragm, (fig. 40.) into 
the abdominal cavity, it suddenly expands into a large 
sac, which is called the stomach. This sac has some- 
what the shape of a pear (fig. 26.) and lies across the 
upper part of the abdominal cavity. It is ordinarily, 
capable of containing from one, to two quarts; but may 
be greatly enlarged, by gluttony, and diminished by 
disease. Its largest end lies on the left side, or in what 
is called the left hypochondrium. It diminishes in size, 
as it proceeds towards the right side, where it rather 
suddenly contracts into a tube, which is considerably 
larger than the meatpipe or oesaphagus. (Fig. 26./.) 
This tube is prolonged to six or eight times the length of 
the body, and is nicely convolved or folded, so as to be 
brought within a small compass. (Fig. 27. S.) In the 
descriptions of anatomy and physiology, it is artificially 
divided into three parts, called the duodenum, the jejunum 
and the ileum. It is more properly, as a whole, called the 
small intestine, or the small portion of the alimentary 
canal or tube. This tube, at its lower extremity, sud- 
denly expands into what is called the colon, which is 
much more capacious than the small intestine. (Fig. 27. 
I.) The colon ascends to the stomach on the right side 
— arches over the whole volume of the small intestine, 
and descends on the left side; forming in its lower part, 
what is called the sigmoid flexure: or, assuming the shape 
of an S; and then enters into the formation of a some- 


what smaller tube, called the rectum, (fig. 27. V) at the 
lower extremity of which, the mucous membrane again 
blends with the ottter skin. 

Fig. 26. 

a, the asophagus or meatpipe; b, the cardiac orifice; c, the 
pyloric orifice; d, the snail curvature of the stomach; e, 
the great curvature; /, the duodenum; g, the centre of the 
stomach; h, the splenic portion of the stomach. (§ 382.) 

§ 339. Such is the general disposition of the mucous 
membrane, in forming the alimentary cavity. Through- 
out its whole extent, some of its little vessels (§ 331.) 


exhale an aqueous vapor or serous fluid: — throughout its 
Fig. 27. 


A, the under side of the liver; B, C, D, G, the biliary ducts; 
II, the gall-bladder; M, the stomach; P, the pylorus; 
A'. 8, small intestine, terminating at T in the large intes- 
tine U, TV, X, Y. 

whole extent, its numerous little glandular follicles copi- 


graham's lectures on the 

ously secrete, and pour out upon its surface, a lubricating 
and" sheathing mucus, to keep its myriads of delicate 
little organs (§ 287.) in a proper state for the perform- 
ance of their functions, and to protect them from the 
injurious action of whatever substances may be intro- 
duced into the cavity. 

§ 340. In the oral cavity, on each side, near the 

Fig. 28. 

a, the salivary gland in the cheek; b, the duct leading to the 
mouth; c, the gland under the edge of the under jaw. 

second double tooth in the upper jaw, the mucous mem- 
brane forms a little tube, (fig. 28. b) which ascends 


along the cheek, and branches out and forms a gland in 
the manner I have described (§ 334.) in front of the 
lower part of the ear. (Fig. 28. a) Another smaller 
one of these glands, lies just within the lower edge of the 
under jaw, on each side, (c) and a third, and still smaller 
pair lie under the roots of the tongue, uniting on the 
middle line. The ducts of these last two pairs, open 
into the mouth in front of the roots of the tongue and 
near its bridle. These are all called the salivary glands. 
They secrete the saliva or the solvent fluid of the mouth, 
and pour it into the oral cavity freely during the process 
of mastication; and whenever any exciting substance is 
taking into the mouth. The smell, and sight, and even 
the thoughts of savory, or digusting substances, and of 
other objects of desire, will also cause an increased 
secretion and flow of saliva. The oral cavity, I have 
said, (§ 338.) continues back, into the funnel-shaped 
cavity, called the pharynx. Into this last cavity, open 
also, from above, the canals coming from the nose, and 
near them, on each side, a little tube coming from the 
internal chambers of the ear, called the Eustacian tubes. 
These tubes are lined by the mucous membrane, and are 
so essential to hearing that if they become closed up 
deafness is caused. Just in front of these, is the soft 
pendulous body commonly called the palate; — but in the 
descriptions of anatomy, the vail of the palate. This, in 
the act of swallowing, is pressed back, and closes the 
nasal canals and the Eustacian tubes, so that, nothing can 
pass into them. A little lower down, near the roots of 
the tongue, in the front part of the pharynx, opens the 
larynx, or the mouth of the windpipe. This is so situ- 
ated that every thing, which is swallowed, must pass 
directly over it. To prevent any of the food or drink 
from entering the windpipe, a small oval-shaped carti- 

224 Graham's lectures on the 

laginous valve is placed over the orifice. But as respi- 
ration requires that the mouth of the windpipe should 
only be momentarily closed, this little valve called the 
epi-glottis is always raised, except during the act of swal- 
lowing, when it shuts down over the orifice, and com- 
pletely closes it, for an instant, while the food or other 
substances are passing, and then immediately opens.* 

§341. Descending again, to the stomach, we find 
that, the oesophagus, or meatpipe does not enter this 
cavity at its end, or in the line of its longitudinal axis, 
but, as it were, at its upper side, (fig. 29. A) so that 

rig. 29. 

A, the cardiac orifice of the stomach; B, the interior of the 
stomach; C, the pylorus; JO, the interior of the duo- 

the inferior mouth (C) of the stomach, which opens into 
the small intestine, (D) is little lower than that, at which 
the food enters (A) and which on account of its proxim- 
ity to the heart is called the cardiac orifice. The infe- 
rior mouth of the stomach, (C) which lies in the right 
side of the abdominal cavity, is called the pyloric orifice. 
About four inches below this orifice, in the small intes- 

* The fact that the glottis can close itself in the absence of the epi-glot- 
tis does not in the least degree prove that the epi-glottis is not designed 
to act exclusively as a valve to close the glottis in the act of deglutition. 


tine, (D) is the mouth of another tube, formed, or lined 
by the mucous membrane. This tube ascends, and 
brandies out, in the manner I have described, (§ 334.) 
and, together with appropriate vessels, nerves, &c. 
forms the largest gland in the body, called the liver. 
(Fig. 27. A A A.) This gland is situated at the top of 
the abdominal cavity, and lies immediately under the dia- 
phragm; and mostly on the right side. It is divided 
into a large lobe and two small ones. On the lower 
surface of the large lobe, which lies on the right side, is 
formed a membranous reservoir, called the gall-bladder, 
which is also lined by ihe mucous membrane. (Fig. 27. 
B.) The common biliary duct, after proceeding a short 
distance from the small intestine, gives off a tube called 
the cistic duct, which goes to the gall-bladder. The 
remaining portion of the main duct, which now takes the 
name of the hepatic duct, continues a little farther, and 
then divides into two tubes, one of which, goes to the 
right and the other to the left lobe of the liver. The 
nerves of the liver, which are very numerous, are prin- 
cipally from the hepatic plexus, which is formed by a 
multitude of the branches of the nerves of organic life, 
and into which, some of the filaments of the pnuemogas- 
tric, penetrate. (§ 245. 2S5.) By this plexus also, the 
liver is brought into very immediate and powerful ana- 
tomical, and sympathetic relations with the stomach. 

§ 342. The pancreas, which very closely resembles 
the salivary glands in its structure and in the character 
of its secretion, (fig. 30.) is situated behind the stomach, 
and lies crosswise of the body. (Fig. 31. PP.) Itisabout 
six inches long and one thick; and weighs from four to six 
ounces. Its duct generally enters the small intestine, at the 
same point, and in a common mouth with the biliary duct. 


graham's lectures on the 

These excretory ducts and those of other glands, though 
formed essentially of the mucous membrane, as I have said, 
have also an exterior tunic of dense cellular substance. 

Fig. 30. 

The Pancreas. 

§ 343. These are the glands which immediately pertain 
to the mucous membrane of the alimentary cavity, and 
are more or less concerned in the performance of its 
general function of assimilation. 

§ 344. The kidneys, which are situated in the region 
of the loins, (fig. 31. K) though they, like the glands 
just described, are founded upon the mucous membrane, 
are not immediately connected with the alimentary canal. 
The mucous membrane, which lines all their ducts and 
cavities, continues from each kidney, and forms, or lines 
a long tube, about the size of a writing quill, one of 
which, descends from the kidney, on each side, and 
opens, into the bladder. (Fig. 31. U U.) From these 
tubes, the mucous membrane continues and lines the 
bladder, and thence proceeds to join the external 

§ 345. The lachrymal glands (fig. 52. a) which 
secrete the fluid that moistens the eyeball and composes 
the tears, and the other glands of the body, not particu- 
larly described, are all constructed upon the same general 
principles; having the mucous membrane for the grand 
foundation of their structure. But in all these glands, 



this membrane is, as it were, isolated, and at a greater 

Fig. 31. 

A, the aorta; B, the bladder; G, the gall-bladder; K, the 
kidneys; L, the liver turned up, showing the under side; 
P, the pancreas; R, the rectum; S, the spleen; U, the 
ureters; V, the vena cava. 

or less remove from the great sheets of the alimentary 

228 graham's lectures on the 

and respiratory cavities. Yet, when it is remembered 
that, the main difference between the external skin and 
the mucous membrane (§ 287—239.) is in situation, 
which affects function more than structure, we see that 
the one may readily pass into the other, in any part, 
according to the general, and particular wants of the 
organic economy. 

§ 346. Passing downward from the mouth of the 
biliary and pancreatic ducts (§ 341. 342.) along the small 
intestine, we find this organ abounding in small semilunar 
folds (fig. 32.) called the valvulce conniventes, which 

Section of the small intestine turned inside out to 
show the folds of its mucous membrane; 

greatly increase the extent of its surface, and cause its 
contents to descend more slowly. This intestine does 
not pass into the large portion of the canal, in the line 
of its longitudinal axis, as a continuous tube, but enters 
it at a right angle, (fig. 33. h) about four inches above 
its inferior extremity; (a) and terminates in a circular 
fold of the mucous membrane, called the ileo-ccecal valve, 
which extends, by its free border, into the cavity of the 
large intestine, and suffers the contents of the small 
intestine, to pass freely into the large, but does not 
permit those of the large intestine to pass into the small. 
- The portion of the large intestine, which extends below 
the ileo-ccecal valve, (fig. 33. a) is called the ccecum. 
It has the form of a sac opening into the colon; (fig. 35. 



bed) and is three or four inches in depth, and about 
the same in diameter. The colon is not cylindrical like 
the small intestine, but is gathered into partial circular 
folds, which give it a saculated form and appearance; and 

a b c de, the colon, showing its s.uulated form and general ar- 
rangement; e, the sigmoid flexure; /, the rectum; K, the small 
intestine terminating in the colon and forming the ileo-coecal 
valve; g, the vessels crossing the mesocolon. 

is secured in this condition, by three longitudinal bands. 
(Fig. 33.) In therectum (fig. 33. j) this saculated form 

230 graham's lectures on the 

disappears, and the canal again becomes more uniform 
and cylindrical. 

Muscular Tissue of the Alimentary Canal. 

§ 347. Motion, as well as innervation and secretion, 
being necessary for the performance of the general 
functions of the alimentary cavity, muscular fibres are 
therefore, everywhere attached to the back of the mucous 
membrane forming that cavity. These fibres are arranged 
in different parts according to the motion required. 
Throughout the whole extent of the canal however, the 
arrangement is very similar. (§199.) In general, it 
consists of two layers; — the first, composed of circular 
fibres, which surround the meatpipe, the stomach, and 
the small, and large intestines, like rings, or like sections 
of rings, whose ends lap by each other, so as to give the 
muscles more power and activity; — and the second, 
composed of longitudinal fibres, or those which run 
lengthwise of the meatpipe, stomach and intestinal tube. 
(§ 338.) By the contraction of the circular fibres, 
the calibre of the cavity is diminished. By the contrac- 
tion of the longitudinal fibres, the parts are shortened; 
and by their combined action, they give the parts a 
vermicular, or undulating motion. The muscular coat, 
thus formed, is considerably thicker and more powerful 
in the meatpipe and stomach, than in the small intestine; 
and in the large intestine, particularly the colon, it is still 
thinner than in the small. In the colon also, the longi- 
tudinal fibres, instead of forming a continuous layer or 
sheet, as in the other parts, are gathered (§ 346.) into 
three separate longitudinal bands. (Fig. 33.) In the 
rectum again, the muscular coat becomes thicker and 
stronger and the longitudinal fibres form a continuous 


layer around the tube. In the pharynx, (§ 33S.) the 
arrangement is somewhat different: — here the muscular 
coat is composed of six constrictor muscles, the fibres of 
which, form sheets which cross each other in various 
directions. By the action of these muscles both the 
length and calibre of the pharynx are diminished. In 
the stomach, the fibres are disposed in three different 
directions, — longitudinally, circularly and obliquely. At 
the pyloric orifice of the stomach, the circular fibres 
gather into a thick and powerful band or ring, which, 
together with a thickening or folding of the mucous 
membrane upon itself, forms what is called the valve of 
the pylorus, (fig. 29. C) or more commonly, the pylorus 
or "gate keeper," from which the orifice derives its 
name. When this ring is contracted, the orifice is closed, 
so that nothing can escape from the stomach downwards. 
Its office is to prevent the contents of the stomach from 
passing into the small intestine in a crude and undigested 

§ 348. It is an interesting physiological fact, that the 
muscular coat of the alimentary organs, and particularly 
of the stomach and small intestines, is more or less 
developed, and powerful, and active, according to the 
character and condition of the food, on which the indi- 
vidual habitually subsists. Those kinds and conditions 
of food, which require considerable muscular action and 
power in the alimentary organs, conduce to the develop- 
ment, vigor and activity of the fibres which form their 
muscular coat, while the opposite kinds and conditions 
of food, conduce to the emaciation and feebleness and 
inactivity of those fibres, and in some instances the 
atrophy or wasting of the muscular coat of the stomach, 
proceeds to such a degree as to render its action exceed- 
ingly sluggish and feeble. 


§ 349. Such is the general contractile tendency of the 
muscular coat of the alimentary canal, that when its 
several parts are not distended with food, their cavities 
are very considerably diminished; and by this means, 
the mucous membrane is gathered into numerous wrinkles 
or folds. In the meatpipe, these are nearly longitudinal. 
In the stomach the wrinkles run in every direction, and the 

folds are exceedingly numer- 
ous: — (fig. 34.) but in both of 
these organs they wholly dis- 
appear when the parts are 
completely distended. In the 
small intestine the folds (fig. 
32.) are even more numerous 
than in the stomach, and many 

The folds in the mucous mem- of them are also more perma- 
brane of the stomach. nent (§ 346 .) 

§ 350. The alimentary canal, thus constructed, is 
everywhere, surrounded, or embraced by the serous 
membrane which lines the thoracic and abdominal cavi- 
ties, (§ 176.) and which constitutes one of the coats of 
the canal. The oesophagus is embraced by that portion 
of the membrane of the thoracic cavity, which forms 
the middle partition of the chest, called the mediastinum, 
(§ 176.) and lies immediately in front of the spinal 
column. The serous membrane which surrounds the 
stomach, and the intestines, excepting the duodenum, 
is called their peritoneal coat. It serves in a measure, 
as I have said, (§ 176.) to isolate the organs — to present 
a smooth and lubricated surface, which enables the 
contiguous organs and parts to move upon each other 
without injury, — and, by its various attachments to the 
walls of the abdominal cavity and other parts, to keep 
each organ and portion of the alimentary canal in its 


proper and relative position. (Fig. 35.) The portion 
of the membrane which thus secures the intestines, forms 

Tlio dotted line shows 
the arrangement of the 
serous membrane in the 
abdominal cavity ; (§ 17(>.) 
lining P, the front wall of 
the abdomen, partially 
surrounding B U R, 
the organs of the pelvis, 
and h~, the kidue) ; go- 
ing down around /, the 
intestine, and returning 
and forming M, the mes- 
entery ; ascending to I), 
the arch of the diaphragm; 
and surrounding L, the 
liver, &c. 

a gathered or folded curtain which extends from the 
hack-bone (figs. 5 and 35. M) to the convolutions and 
arches of the canal, and thus, while it holds every part in 
its relative position, admits of a free floating motion of the 
whole. The curtain which belongs to the small intestine 
is called the mesentery, (fig. 3G. c) and that which be- 
longs to the colon, the mesocolon. On these curtains 
also ; are ramified and distributed in great abundance, 


graham's lectures on the 

the vessels and nerves that go to, and from the alimentary 
canal. (Fig. 33. g.) From the stomach, the arch of the 

Fig. 36. 

b b, the intestine; c, the mesentery. 

colon, and the liver, the peritoneum depends, in exten- 
sive folds; the two laminae or sheets of which, are connect- 
ed together by cellular tissue containing fat. These folds 
a*e called the omenta; or in popular language, the caul. 
The great omentum, which is attached to the stomach, 
and arch of the colon, lies like an apron, free and floating 
upon the front of the convolutions of the small intestines. 
(Fig. 37. g g) The omenta are constantly moistened 
with a serous fluid which facilitates the movements of 
contiguous organs upon each other: they also receive the 
superfluous depositions of fat. The three coats of the 
canal, consisting of the mucous membrane, the muscular 
coat, and the peritoneal coat, or the serous membrane, 
are closely knit together, by a delicate cellular tisssue. 



The nerves distributed to the alimentary canal, and which 
preside over its functions, we have seen (§ 220.) are 
from the ganglionic system of organic life. These are 
exceedingly abundant 
in every part of the 
canal, imparting the 
stimulus of involuntary 
motion to its muscular 
tissue, (§ 219.) giving 
the functional power 
ol absorption, secre 
tion, excretion, exha- 
lation, &c. to its myri- 
ads of minute vessels; 
(§ 230.) and organic 
sensibility, common 
and special, (§ 296.) 
to its whole extent of 

mucous membrane. — 
(§ 290.) The stomach we have seen, (§231.) is 
very largely supplied, not only from the great centre 
of organic life, but also from the centre of animal life, 
(§ 245.) and is thereby brought into the most imme- 
diate, powerful, and important relations and sympathies 
with each and every part of the system. (§297. 298.) 
The alimentary canal, however, being a general organ of 
external, as well as internal relation, designed to receive 
foreign substances, for the nourishment of the body, and 
to expel the unappropriated portions, its superior and 
inferior extremities are accordingly furnished with nerves 
and muscles which bring them under the cognizance and 
control of the animal centre of perception and of volun- 
tary action. (§233. 302.) The mucous membrane of 
the mouth, nostrils, throat, pharynx and larynx or top 

a b c, the stomach; g g, the great 
omentum, or caul. 

236 graiiam's lectures on the 

of the windpipe is highly endowed with animal sensibility 
of touch, or feeling:— (§ 294.) that of the mouth, and 
particularly of the tongue, has also the sense of taste, and 
that of the nose, the sense of smell. The control of the 
will, or the voluntary action is nearly commensurate, in 
these parts, with the sense of feeling; and is exercised in 
chewing, swallowing, speaking, singing, &c. The nerves 
from which these parts derive their animal sensibilities 
and power of voluntary action, I have fully described. 

Respiratory and Vocal Organs. 

§ 351. The respiratory organs are closely associated 
with the alimentary. Indeed, they constitute a part of the 
great assimilating apparatus of the system; for in them is 
completed the process of assimilation, which commences 
in the mouth or stomach; and, like the alimentary canal, the 
lungs are organs of external, as well as internal relation, 
and consist, fundamentally, of the mucous membrane. 

§ 352. In the function of respiration or breathing, the 
trachea or windpipe, lungs, diaphragm, rihs and breast- 
bone, with numerous pairs of muscles, which move these 
bones, are the principal organs employed. 

§ 353. I have said (§ 340.) that, the windpipe opens 
nto the pharynx on the front side, just below the roots 
of the tongue. Here the mucous membrane continues 
down from the pharynx, and forms a tube about the size of 
the meatpipe when that organ is fully distended, or less 
than an inch in diameter. This tube descends several 
inches in front of the meatpipe, to the cavity of the chest, 
where it divides into two branches, the one going to the 
right, and the other, to the left side of the thoracic cavity. 
Here, each of the branches divides and subdivides, in 


every direction, like an artery of a gland, (fig. 24.) till 
they form a thick brush or broom, of minute hollow twigs ; 
and each of these twigs terminates in a little cell. These 
little air-cells are supposed to be about the one thousandth 
part of an inch in diameter, and their number, in both lungs, 
is estimated at more than one hundred millions. By this 
arrangement the mucous membrane of the lungs presents 
an extent of surface to the air, which is said to be equal to 
that of the whole external skin; and some anatomists 
say that it is much greater. It has been estimated at 
twenty-one thousand square inches. But estimates of 
this kind, cannot be very exact. As the air enters the 
windpipe and lungs principally by suction, as we shall see, 
these tubes would all collapse, or close up, if they were, 
like the meatpipe, purely membranous. To keep them 
distended therefore, and to enable the individual by the 
voluntary control of the respiratory apparatus, to pro- 
duce sound or voice, in the emission of the air from the 
lungs, various cartilages and muscles are supplied. The 
parts more particularly constructed and arranged for the 
production of voice, are placed at the top of the wind- 
pipe, and collectively called the larynx, which is attached 
above, to the bone of the tongue, and behind, is con- 
nected with the oesophagus or meatpipe. It is impos- 
sible to describe these parts in such a manner as to give 
a clear and accurate idea of them, to those who have never 
seen them, without extensive visible illustrations, and 
as their minute anatomy will not serve to elucidate 
any important physiological principle, I shall only give 
a general description of them. 

§ 354. The larynx is composed of five cartilages, which 
are moveable one upon another by the action of several mus- 
cles. 1 . The thyroid, or shield-like cartilage, (figs. 38. 39. 
A) which is the largest of the five and forms the upper, and 


graham's lectures on the 

anterior part; and produces at the upper part of the neck, 
the prominence called Mam's apple. 2. The cricoid 
or ring-like cartilage (B) which is placed below the thy- 
roid, and like that, can readily be felt in the fore part of 
the neck. It is narrow in front, and thick, broad, and 
Fi „ 3S- strong behind. Its up- 

per edge has its front 
part fixed to the thyroid 
cartilage: its lower edge 
is connected to the whole 
circumference of the 
commencement of the 
trachea. 3. and 4. The 
two arytenoid, or small 
pyramid-shaped cartila- 
ges (fig. 39. C) which are 
situated at the upper and 
back part of the larynx, 
above the cricoid carti- 
lage, to which they are 
attached by a strong liga- 
ment, (fig. 39. E) and 
upon which they have a 
sliding motion in every 
direction; 5. The epi- 
glottis, a soft, fibro-carti- 
lage of an ovoid form, 
situated at the upper part 
of the larynx, under the 
roots of the tongue and placed obliquely over the glot 
tis or mouth of the windpipe, which opens into the 
pharynx, forming a valve by which the glottis is closed 
in the act of deglutition. (§ 340.) "On the inside of the 



Fia. 39. 

larynx, there are two ligaments, formed of elastic and 
parallel fibres, and extending forward from the anterior 
part of each arytenoid cartilage, to the thyroid cartilage 
where they meet. These are called the chorda vocales 
or the vocal ligaments. (Fig. 39. F.) The open- 
ing between them, is the entrance into the windpipe, 
and is called the glottis. 
Tins narrow chink is 
capable of being enlarg- 
ed, contracted or wholly 
closed. Immediately a- 
bove these two ligaments 
are two small pouches, 
termed the ventricles of 
the larynx; and above the 
ventricles, are situated 
two other ligaments form- 
ed of mucous membrane, 
and extending between 
the arytenoid and thyroid 
cartilages, above the chor- 
da vocales; so that, the 
ventricles of the larynx 
are situated between 
these ligaments and the vocal chords. 

§ 355. "All the modifications of the voice, are pro- 
duced by the air, passing out of the lungs through the 
larynx. The sound is occasioned by the vibration of the 
vocal ligaments. According to Magendie the gravity or 
acuteness of the sound, depends on the greater or less 
approximation of the arytenoid cartilages toward each 
other. But Mayo remarks that the pitch of the voice 
has no reference to the size of the aperture between the 
vocal chords, nor to any alteration of their length, but 

240 graham's lectures on the 

depends solely on their tension, and, consequently, on 
the frequency of their vibrations."* 

§ 356. The whole larynx may be elevated towards the 
chin, or depressed towards the sternum, by the action 
of appropriate muscles, situated in the parts. It is 
supplied by four nerves, all of which are furnished by 
the pneumogastric which I have described. (§ 245. )f 

§ 357. From the larynx downward into the lungs, the 
windpipe is kept in a distended form, by a succession of 
fibro-cartilaginous rings connected with each other by a 
membranous texture. (Fig. 38. C. 39. D.) For important 
purposes however, these rings as they are called, are not 
entire circles; but each ring describes about two thirds 
of a circle, and the other third is occupied by a mem- 
branous texture of muscular fibres running in the direc- 
tion of the rings : so that, their contraction draws the two 
ends of the ring nearer to each other, and thus, consid- 
erably diminishes the calibre of the windpipe. This 
musculo-membranous portion is in the back part of the 
windpipe, and contiguously in front of the oesophagus 
or meatpipe: — so that, when a bolus of food descends, 
in the oesophagus, its course is not obstructed by the 
cartilaginous rings of the windpipe, as would be the case, 
if they continued entirely around. But if the bolus is 
too large, it presses in the membranous portion of the 
windpipe, to such an extent, as to cause the distressing 
sensation of choking; and in some cases, so nearly 
closes the windpipe, as to cause suffocation and death. 

* Oliver's First Lines of Physiology p. 453. 

t In front, and somewhat below the larynx is situated a soft, spongy 
body called the thyroid gland, the use of which is not known. It con- 
sists of two lobes, one on each side, which are united in the middle. 
(Fig. 38. D.) It receives blood from four arteries, but has no excretory 
duct. It is usually larger in females than in males, and larger in early 
life than in more advanced age. 


§ 358. As the branches of the windpipe become 
more and more subdivided, in the substance of the lungs, 
the rings become less and less cartilaginous, and gradu- 
ally soften down, and fade away, and finally, disappear 
entirely; leaving nothing, but the membranous form of 
the small air-tubes. It is however, asserted by some 
anatomists, that the transverse muscular fibres, by the 
contraction of which the calibre of these tubes is di- 
minished, are continued down to the smallest subdivisions 
and that they are employed in the act of expiration, in 
expelling the air from the lungs; and that it is to this 
c< ttraclile tissue, that the pulmonary branches of the 
pneumogastric nerve are mainly distributed. (§ 245.) 

§ 359. A large pulmonary artery, rising from the heart, 
(iig. 43. k) divides like the windpipe (§ 353.) into two 
branches, one of which, goes to the right branch of the wind- 
pipe, and the other, to the left. These now ramify in the 
same manner as the windpipe, (fig. 24.) so that, their 
branches and twigs correspond with those of the wind- 
pipe; and finally, the extremely minute twigs of the artery 
terminate in the sides of the air-cells at the extremities 
of the minute air-tubes. (§ 353.) Where the arterial 
capillaries terminate, the venous capillaries rise; and, 
running into each other, the vessels become larger and 
form branches corresponding with those of the artery, 
till they swell into large pulmonary veins which emerge 
from the lungs by the side of the arteries, and proceed 
to the heart. (Fig. 43. mv:.) 

§ 360. These pulmonary arteries convey the blood 
from the heart to the lungs, where it undergoes impor- 
tant changes, and then, the veins carry it back, from the 
lungs to the heart. The lungs however, are not in the 
least degree nourished by this circulation. The bron- 
chial arteries, which nourish all the tissues of the lungs, 

242 Graham's lectures on tut: 

and the veins which correspond with these arteries, are 
ramified like those just described, and extend to every 
portion of the pulmonary structure. Besides these, lym- 
phatic vessles are numerously distributed in every part. 
All these vessels, and especially the arterial capillaries 
are largely supplied with nerves of organic life, which 
preside over their functions. (§ 230.) Some of the 
branches of the pneumogastric nerve (§ 245.) after 
interlacing and forming plexuses with nerves of organic 
life, proceed to the lungs. These are supposed by 
some physiologists, to be wholly appropriated to that 
peculiar sensibility of the lungs, by which we feel the 
want of air; others think they are exclusively distributed 
to the contractile tissue or muscles of the air-tubes, just 
described, (§ 358.) and convey to them the stimulus of 
motion. Others, perhaps more correctly, suppose that 
they perform both of these offices. — All these air- 
tubes, vessels and nerves are closely knit together into 
one general texture, by a delicate cellular tissue, (§ 171.) 
and the whole mass, on each side, is enveloped in the 
serous membrane as an external coat. (§ 176.) 

§ 361. The right lung is larger than the left, and is 
divided into three lobes. (Fig 40. a a a.) The left, has 
two lobes; (b b) and is smaller than the right lung, to 
make room for the heart, (§ 175.) which lies partly on 
the left side. (Fig 4. H.) The lungs of men are, in 
general, larger than those of women. Each lobe of the 
lungs, is divided, in its internal arrangement, into nu- 
merous lobules. The air-cells (§ 353.) of each lobule, 
communicate with each other, but the cells of one lobule 
have no direct communication with those of another. 
The two lungs are completely separated from each other, 
and from all the other organs, by the serous membrane, 
here called the pleura, (§ 176.) which lines the thoracic 



cavity, and divides it into two chambers, by passing 
double, across it, from the breast-bone to the back-bone, 
(fig 40. c) and thus forming a closed sac for each lung, 

Fig. 40. 

a a, the right lung; b b, the left lung; c, the mediastinum; 
d e, the top of the windpipe. 

and embracing the heart, the large blood-vessels and the 
meatpipe (§ 350.) between the two sheets of the medi- 
astinum, or middle partition. 

244 graham's lectures on the 

§ 36-2. By this arrangement, every part is kept in its 
proper place and condition; and an admirable provision is 
made against evils which might otherwise, arise from 
injuries of the chest and lungs. If instead of being com- 
pletely separated as they are, the two lungs occupied one 
cavity, then any perforation of the walls of that cavity, 
by disease or otherwise, so that the external air could 
rush into it, would at once arrest the function of respi- 
ration and immediate death would result. But now, if by 
any means, one lung is disabled, it can lie still, while the 
other continues faithfully to perform its function; and thus 
life is preserved. 

§ 363. The diaphragm (§ 175.) isa musculo-tendonous 
membrane, which is attached, by its two legs, to the two 
upper vertebra? of the loins, (fig. 41. a) and proceeds 
diagonally upwards and forwards, — arching up into the 
chest like a bridge or dome, (figs. 4. and 35. D) and, being 
attached, by its peripheral edge, to the walls of the body, 
all around, (fig. 41. b b) so as completely to divide the 
trunk, into the two large cavities (§ 175.) called the 
thoracic and abdominal. (Fig. 41. c a.) The meatpipe, 
the large blood-vessels, &c. pass through this partition 
near the spinal column. The legs and centre of the 
diaphragm, are principally tendonous, and its wings are 
muscular. By the contraction of the muscular portions, 
the arch of the diaphragm is reduced nearly to a plane; 
and thereby, the cavity of the chest is enlarged, and 
that of the abdomen, somewhat diminished, — the liver, 
stomach, &c. being pressed down by the descending 
diaphragm. (Fig. 4.) 

§ 364. In describing the bones of the body, I said 
(§ 181.) that, the ribs (fig. 8. c c c) are fastened by car- 
tilages and ligaments, to the spinal column, (b b) and 
most of them, by a double attachment; and that, they 



droop, as they proceed for- Fig. 41. 

ward, to be connected with 
the sternum or breast-bone: 
(a) so that, the front ends 
of the ribs, when in their most 
natural, or resting position, 
are considerably lower than 
the back ends. (Fig- 3.) 
By this arrangement, when 
the various muscles concern- 
ed in elevating the breast- 
bone and the ribs, are con- 
tacted, the breast-bone and 
the front ends of the ribs, 
are raised up so as to bring 
the ribs nearly to a horizontal 
position: and this also, con- 
siderably enlarges the cavity 
of the chest. When there- 
fore, the diaphragm is drawn 
down, and the breast-bone 
and ribs are elevated, the 

Cavity of the chest is much The diaphragm during expiration; . 

. , a, its tendonous centre; bb, its 

enlarged. fleshy sides; c c, the lateral <a- 

§365. It is a matter of vities of the chest in which the 
ii ii i i lungs lie. 

general knowledge that, the 

atmosphere has weight, or that like other ponderable 
substances, it gravitates towards the centre of the earth; 
and that, it presses on the surface of the earth and things 
on the earth, at, or near the water's level, at the rate of 
about fifteen pounds to every square inch of surface. 
This pressure being the same on every part of our bodies, 
we do not feel it. But if the air could be entirely ex- 
pelled from the lungs, and the mouth and nose completely 

246 graham's lectures on the 

closed, and the thoracic cavity enlarged, as in a full inspi- 
ration of breath, there would be a pressure of many 
hundred pounds, upon the external surface of the chest. 
But the nose being open, the air rushes into the windpipe, 
air-passages, and cells of the lungs and distends these 
organs; so that, they at all times just fill the cavities 
allotted to them, and no vacuum is produced, and con- 
sequently, no pressure is felt. In ordinary breathing, 
therefore, the muscles which elevate the breast-bone and 
ribs, slightly contract, and the arch of the diaphragm, 
(fig. 35. D) is simultaneously drawn down, and thereby 
the cavity of the chest is enlarged, and at the same time, 
the air rushes in and inflates the lungs; and then all the 
muscles employed in produciug these motions, instanta- 
neously relax, and the ribs and diaphragm re (urn to their 
natural po'sition, by the elasticity of the cellular tissue, 
(§ 169.) the force of gravity and the pressure of other 
parts. By these means, and perhaps, also, by the con- 
traction of the muscles of the air-tubes, (§ 358.) the 
air is expelled from the lungs. 

§ 366. When the ribs are confined by tight clothing, 
the diaphragm is compelled to carry on the function 
alone; but in this case respiration is much restrained. 
In violent and rapid breathing, the abdominal muscles 
probably assist, in the act of expiration. We see then 
that, it is not by a direct action of the will upon the 
lungs, but upon the diaphragm, and the muscles which 
elevate the breast-bone and ribs, and upon the parts 
which compose the larynx, or organs of voice, that we 
have, to some extent, a voluntary control over the acts 
of inspiration and expiration; and this, we have seen, 
(§302.) is necessary in order to the protection of the 
lungs from offensive air, &c. and to the production of 
voice, speech, &c; — but when neither of these final 


causes, demands the immediate exercise of the will, 
the function of respiration is wholly given up to organic 
instinct, and is carried on without our care, and in health 
generally without our consciousness. All the muscles of 
animal life therefore, concerned in the general function 
of respiration, are associated in ihe regular performance 
of this function, with those of organic life or of involun- 
tary motion. 

Organs of Circulation. 

§ 367. The general function of circulation, is inti- 
mately associated with that of respiration. The organs 
employed in the performance of this function, are the 
heart, arteries, veins and capillary vessels. (§ 313.) 

§ 368. The heart is a muscular organ (§ 172.) having 
somewhat the shape of an inverted cone; and lying, as I 
have said, (§361.) in the lower part of the thoracic 
cavity, hetween the two sheets of the pleura, which 
form the central partition of the chest. (Fig. 40. c.) 
It is also, surrounded hy a membranous sac of its own 
(§ 176.) called the pericardium (fig. 42. b b.) which 
by its exhalations, continually moistens and lubricates its 
enclosed organ. The heart lies partly on the middle 
line, and partly in the left side of the chest. (Fig. 

42. a.) Strictly speaking, it is a double organ; composed 
of two corresponding lialves, — each half having an upper 
and a lower chamber, or cavity. The upper chambers 
are called auricles, and the lower ones, ventricles. (Fig. 

43. a bn.) 

§ 369. Before birth, there is an opening between the 
auricles, through which, a portion of the blood passes 
from the right auricle to the left; but after respiration 
commences, there is no direct communication between 


graham's lectures on the 

the two halves of the heart. The auricle on each side, 
however, communicates freely, with its corresponding 
ventricle. The cavities of the right side of the heart 

Fig. 42. 

The cavity of the chest laid open, to show the heart and lungs. 
a, the heart; b b, the pericardium, cut open; c, the aorta, the 
great artery of the left side, that distributes the blood to all parts 
of the body; d, the great vein, called the descending vena cava, 
which, with the ascending, brings the blood to the right auri- 
cle; e, the pleura or membrane that covers the lungs. 

are somewhat more in front, than those of the left. 
The right auricle receives the dark blood that returns in 
the veins from all parts of the body, and, contracting 



upon it, sends it into the right ventricle, through an ori- 
fice, which is furnished with membranous folds, so 
arranged as to form a triplex valve, called the tricuspid 
valve; which, being pressed back, closes the orifice, and 
prevents the blood from returning to the auricle. The 
pulmonary artery, which I have already described, 

a, the left ventricle; 
b, the right ventricle; 
c e /', the aorta , the great 
artery that goes off 
from the left ventricle; 
g h i, the arteries that 
are sent from the arch 
of the aorta; k, the 
pulmonary artery, that 
goes from the right ven- 
tricle to the lungs; / /, 
branches of the pulmo- 
nary artery, going to 
the two sides of the 
lungs; m in, the pulmo- 
nary veins, which hring 
the blood hack from the 
lungs to the left side of 
the heart; i> , the right 
auricle; o, the ascend- 
ing vena cava ; q, the 
descending: these two 
meet, and by their u- 
niOD, form the right au- 
ricle; p, the veins from 
the liver, spleen and bowels; s, the left coronary artery, one of the 
arteries which nourish the heart. 

(§ 359.) rises from the right ventricle, (fig. 43. A;) and soon 
divides into two branches, called the right, and left pulmo- 
nary arteries, which are ramified (fig. 43. I I) with the 
branches of the windpipe, in the formation of the lungs. 
The orifice of the pulmonary artery is furnished, inter- 
nally, with three membranous folds, called the semi- 
lunar valves. These suffer the. blood to pass freely, 
from the heart into the artery, but prevent its re- 

250 graham's lectures on the 

turning from the artery to the heart. Through this 
artery the right ventricle sends its dark blood to the 
lungs, where it is changed into bright red, arterial 
blood, which is conveyed to the left side of the heart, by 
the pulmonary veins which I have also, described. 
(§ 359.) These veins, advancing from the lungs in two 
trunks on each side, open into the left auricle. (Fig. 
43. m m.) From this auricle, the blood passes into the 
left ventricle, through an orifice like that on the right 
side, which is furnished with a fold of membrane, called 
the mitral valve, which prevents the. blood from return- 
ing to the auricle. From the left ventricle, opens the 
mouth of the great arterial trunk called the aorta, through 
which passes all the blood that nourishes the body. 
This orifice is furnished with three semi-lunar valves, 
similar to those, at the entrance of the pulmonary arte- 
ry; and which, like them, suffer the blood to pass from 
the ventricle into the artery, but prevent its returning 
from the artery to the ventricle. 

§ 370. It is probable that, at first, the heart consists 
only of the left ventricle, (§219.) and that, the other 
parts are added, as the general development of the sys- 
tem, progresses. It is not however, until respiration, 
and with it the pulmonary circulation commences, that 
all the cavities of the heart, come into the regular per- 
formance of their appropriate functions. 

§ 371. The muscular power required in the auricles, 
being much less than in the ventricles, the walls of the 
former are much thinner than those of the latter. The 
right auricle is somewhat larger than the left. The 
cavities of the ventricles are nearly of a size, but the 
walls of the left, are much thicker and more powerful 
than those of the right. 

§ 372. In the actions of the heart, the two auricles 


contract simultaneously, and the two ventricles contract 
simultaneously: but the auricles and ventricles con- 
tract alternately, so that, as the two auricles contract, 
the two ventricles dilate, and as the two ventricles con- 
tract, the two auricles dilate. 

§ 373. The muscles of the heart, are supposed by some 
physiologists, to possess a peculiar irritability, (§231.) 
which causes them to contract from the stimulus of the 
blood in the cavities, but it is more probable that, the 
heart has cognizance of the blood in its cavities, by 
means of its nerves of organic sensibility. (§230.) 
Some also, suppose that a positive distending muscular 
force is employed in the dilatation of the cavities. But 
this appears to be both impracticable and unnecessary. 
The elasticity of the cellular tissue, is probably sufficient 
for that effect. (§158. 312.) 

§ 373. The nerves of organic life, I have said, (§ 219.) 
preside over all the functions of the sanguiferous system. 
The heart, which in its rudimental stale, is closely con- 
nected with the central brain of that, system, (§219. 
231.) is gradually removed, as the several parts are 
developed, till it becomes established in (he thoracic 
cavity: — and the ganglionic masses, from which its 
nerves principally issue, are situated in the neck and 
upper part of the chest. (Fig- 14. x.) Some of the branch- 
es of the pneumogastric, it will be recollected, (§247.) 
enter also, into the cardiac plexuses, but few, if any of 
them, reach the heart. At any rate, they neither bring 
it, in any degree, under the control of the will nor 
render it cognizable to the centre of animal perception. 
(§302.) The heart, therefore, is entirely independent 
of the will; yet its action is more or less accelerated or 
retarded by every emotion of the mind. This however, 
principally depends on its organic sympathy with the 

252 graham's lectures on the 

stomach, and with the great centre of organic life, and 
through them, with the brain. (§ 303.) For the heart 
is in no degree, the seat of those emotions or feelings 
which are, in common language, referred to it. 

§ 374. From the left ventricle of the heart, as we 
have seen, (§ 369.) rises the great arterial trunk, called 
the aorta, or air-keeper: — (so named by the ancients be- 
cause they supposed all the arteries were air-tubes;— 
they being generally found empty after death.) This 
trunk ascends a short distance, towards the head, and 
then forms an arch (fig. 43. c e f) and descends, behind 
the heart, and in front of the spinal column; passing 
through the diaphragm, and dividing in the lower part of 
the abdominal cavity, to proceed to the two lower limbs. 
(Fig. 31. A.) Almost immediately, after leaving the 
heart, it gives off two branches which go to nourish that 
organ; — for neither the heart, nor any of the blood-ves- 
sels receives nourishment directly from the blood which 
flows in it; but they are all, even to the smallest vessels, 
nourished by arteries distributed to their tissues for the 
special purpose. At the top of its arch, the aorta gives 
off three large branches (fig. 43. g h i) which are divid- 
ed into the internal, and external arteries of the head, — 
arteries of the face and neck, — arteries of the arms, &c. 
As the aorta descends, it gives ofT branches, all along its 
course, which go to the internal organs, to the walls of 
the body, &c. All these different branches, as they 
proceed towards their destination, divide, and subdivide, 
and inosculate or run into each other, in every direction, 
like a net, (fig. 33. g) till they become extremely minute 
twigs, which are lost in the tissues of the parts to which 
they are distributed, — penetrating to the smallest muscu- 
lar, and nervous filaments, and being dispersed so univer- 
sally, and so numerously, over the whole body, that it is 


scarcely possible to puncture any part, with a fine needle, 
without wounding some of these little vessels. These 
are called capillary or hair-sized vessels, and collectively 
with those of the veins, constitute the capillary system, 
(§ 313.) in, and by which, all the important changes in 
the blood are effected. 

§ 375. The number, of these capillary vessels, has 
been estimated at more than one thousand to every 
square inch. Some physiologists have conjectured that, 
there is another set of almost infinitely minute vessels, 
connected with the capillary extremities, and immediately 
concerned in nourishing the several tissues, &c. which 
they call the exhalants: but this is mere conjecture. 

§ 37G. It is a general law, of the animal organic econo- 
my, that, all vital action is attended with an expenditure 
of vital power, and a waste of organized substance; (§ 192.) 
and these are replenished, by the arterial blood. In the 
distribution of arterial vessels, to the different parts there- 
fore, each organ is supplied according to the nature of 
its function, and its relative importance in the system: and 
such is the general, and particular arrangement, that every 
part, and especially every important part is so furnished, 
that, if its blood be obstructed in some of its vessels, it 
freely flows on in others. 

§ 377. The arterial vessels of the brain, are very nu- 
merous and capacious; and the voluntary muscles, as we 
have seen, (§ 192.) are largely supplied with them. As 
a general fact, however, the arteries distributed to the 
organs of organic life, and particularly those in which 
there is much vital action, and those in, and by which, 
important vital changes are affected, are larger and more 
numerous than those distributed to the organs of animal 
life. (§ 199.) The vessels of the heart which is constantly 
in action, are proportionally, very large; those of the 

254 graham's lectures on the 

stomach are also large and exceedingly numerous, and 
those of the small intestine, are little less so. Moreover, 
the arteries are capable of being both enlarged and dimin- 
ished, to a considerable extent, without actual disease.- 
In a limb, which is habitually and vigorously exercised, 
the arteries become much larger, and the muscles more 
fully developed, than in the corresponding limb which is 
little employed: and on the other hand, if the same limb- 
be suffered to remain inactive for a considerable time, the 
size of the arteries will be much diminished. In case of 
an injury, which renders it necessary to tie the principal 
artery of a part, the smaller arteries of the same part, im- 
mediately begin to increase in size, and in a short time they 
become sufficiently capacious to supply the part with nearly, 
or quite as much blood as it received before the injury. 

§ 378. Either continuing from, or originating very near 
the extremities of the arterial capillaries, those of the 
veins, rise in equal or greater number; and, running into 
each other, become larger and larger, till they form numer- 
ous branches, which unite to form a large venous trunk 
called the vena cava or returning hollow. The veins 
from the lower, and middle parts of the body, and lower 
limbs, form the ascending vena cava; which goes up by 
the side of the great arterial trunk, (fig. 31. V V) and 
opens into the right auricle of the heart. (Fig. 43. o.) The 
veins from the upper part of the body, the upper extremi- 
ties and the head, form the descending vena cava, which 
opens into the same cavity, near the mouth of the ascend- 
ing venous trunk. (Fig. 43. q.) 

§ 379. The veins anastomose, or run into each other 
in a net-like manner, even more frequently, than the arte- 
ries; and for the same important purpose, viz. — if the 
flow of the blood be obstructed in some of the veins, it 
readily turns aside into others, and goes on its way. The 


number of branches and twigs, compared with that of the 
trunks, is much greater in the venous, than in the arterial 
system: so that, as a whole, the venous system is much 
more capacious, than the arterial. 

§ 380. Myriads, of arterial and venous capillaries, as 
we have seen, (§ 287.) pass through the meshes of the 
great limiting membrane, and assist in forming the vasculo- 
nervous web, upon its exterior surface. In this web, 
however, the venous capillaries seem to be much more 
abundant, than the arterial, both in the mucous membrane, 
and in the skin. In the mucous membrane of the ali- 
mentary canal, according to Dr. Horner,* " the superfi- 
cial layer of vessels composing this web or plexus appears 
to consist almost entirely of a cribriform texture of veins. 
The arborescence of the arteries is confined to the level 
beneath the venous intertexture, and is there developed 
to an extreme degree of minuteness; being intermixed 
with corresponding venous ramuscles, generally larger and 
more numerous, than the arteries themselves." " The 
external surface of the cutis' vera or true skin, presents 
as it were, an outline of the same arrangement; the ve- 
nous, reticular' intertexture appearing broader, not quite 
so perfect and more shallow and forming the papillae." 

The Portal System. 

§381. I have said, (§ 378.) that, the veins arising 
from the venous capillaries, in all parts of the body, run 
into each other like a net, gradually increasing in size, 
till they finally unite to form the great ascending, and de- 
scending venous trunks which open into the right auricle of 
the heart. But there is a remarkable peculiarity, in the ar- 
rangement of the veins arising from the abdominal viscera. 
All the veins arising from the venous capillaries of the 

* See Appendix, Note A. 

256 graham's lectures on the 

stomach, the spleen, the pancreas, the omentum, tie 
small intestine, and the ascending, and transverse colon, 
run together, in the manner already described, (§ 378.) 
and form the three large veins, called the coronary vein 
of the stomach, the splenic, and the mesenteric veins. 
These, instead of advancing directly to the vena cava, 
unite, and form a large venous trunk, which proceeds ob- 
liquely upward, to the right, and plunges into the liver, 
where it suddenly divides into branches which are ramified 
in the manner of an artery, (fig. 24.) and where in fact, 
it takes the place of an artery; being distributed in the 
same manner and holding the same relations to the secret- 
ing surface, or the mucous membrane of the ducts, that 
the principal artery does in other glands. This peculiar 
arrangement of veins, constitutes what is called the sys- 
tem of the vena port£, or the roRTAL system: — and 
where these veins terminate, in the ramifications of the 
biliary duct, other venous capillaries arise, which, running 
into each ether, form the hepatic veins; and these, receiv- 
ing the blood from the portal veins, and from the hepatic 
artery, cenvey it to the vena cava. (Fig. 31. Y.) 

§ 3S2. The portal system has an appendage, which 
has hitherto exceedingly perplexed physiologists, and 
been the subject of a great diversity of experiment and 
speculation. Jt is called the spleen, and is situated in 
the upper and hack part of the abdominal cavity, on the 
left side between the diaphragm, and the left kidney. 
(Fig. 31. S.) It is attached to the diaphragm, the stom- 
ach, and the descending colon, in a loose manner, by 
folds of the peritoneum, and by a great number of vessels; 
and hence the left extremity, or large end of the stomach, 
is called the splenic portion. — The spleen is extremely 
spongy or vascular, being formed almost entirely of blood- 
vessels, lymphatics, and cells, woven together by cellular 


tissue, and surrounded by a very firm sero-fibrous mem- 
brane. Its artery ramifies in a peculiar manner, and ab- 
ruptly expends itself on the tissues of the organ. Its 
veins ichich are proportional]]) larger than in any other 
part of the body, arise from the cells, and empty into the 
vena portse: or rather, they constitute, as we have seen, 
(§3S1.) a part of the roots, of the portal trunk. Its 
lymphatics are very numerous. Its nerves come from 
the splenic plexus of the nerves of organic life, and are 
very small. The form of the spleen, is elliptical or 
oval. Its size varies much, not only in different indi- 
viduals, but also, in the same individual, at different 
periods; and inconstantly. As a general statement, how- 
ever, it is in an adult, about four inches long, three 
broad, and a little less than one thick. Its weight varies as 
much as its size, but on an average, is about eight ounces. 
It would be a tedious and unprofitable task, to recite 
the various opinions, which have been advanced, con- 
cerning the use of this organ. The conclusions to which 
I have arrived after a careful examination of them all, 
will be presented, when I come to speak of the functions 
of the liver and the vena portae. (§ 460.) 

§ 3S3. The arteries are composed of _ three coats. 
The exterior one is a dense cellular tunic. The middle 
one, called the muscular coat, consists of transverse 
circular fibres of a yellowish color, which, though they 
differ in appearance from the ordinary muscular tissue, 
are contractile, like the muscular fibre. The inner coat 
is a very smooth, thin, transparent membrane which has 
no appearance of fibres, and is continuous with that 
which lines the cavities of the heart. — The veins, accord- 
ing to some anatomists, have but two coats. — Others, 
perhaps more correctly, say three. — Of these, the outer 
one is a dense cellular coat, and is very strong. The mid- 

253 graiiam's lectures on the 

die one is composed of longitudinal fibres resembling die 
circular fibres of the arteries. The inner coat is exceed- 
ingly thin and smooth, and is very similar to that which 
lines the arteries and heart. Some anatomists think it 
is a continuation of the same. This coat, in most, or all 
the veins in which the blood ascends against gravity, is 
frequently folded so as to form a species of valves, which 
favor the course of the blood towards the heart, but ob- 
struct its course in a contrary direction. 

§384. The nerves which enter into the structure cf 
the blood-vessels, and preside over their functions, we 
have seen, (§219. 231.) are from the ganglionic system. 
(§ 223.) They much more largely abound in the capil- 
lary vessels, in, and by which, all the important vital 
changes are effected in the blood, than in the larger trunks 
and branches. (§ 231.) 

Lymphatic System. 

§ 335. There is another set, or system of capillary 
vessels, of which, I have often spoken, remaining to be 
described, called the lymphatics. These vessels are 
extremely minute; so that, in many parts they cannot be 
detected, without the help of the microscope, and even 
with this help, they have not yet been found in the brain, 
and some other parts, where, there is reason to believe, 
they exist. In their texture, they considerably resemble 
the veins. — They have two coats; of which the external 
one is cellular, and capable of considerable extension : — 
their inner coat is frequently folded, so as to form valves 
like those in the veins; and their walls are so thin thai, 
these folds give them the appearance of being jointed. 
(Figs. 44. 45. 46.) — These vessels rise in immense 
numbers from almost every internal and external surface 



and substance of the human body, so that, there is scarcely 
a particle of matter, in the whole incorporated system, 
which cannot be reached by them. Myriads of them rise 

from the skin and mu- 

, i Fig. 44. Fig. 45. Fig. 46. 

cous membrane; and 

their extremities form 

a part of the vssculo- 

nervous web or plexus 

(§ 237.) on the ex- 
terior surface of this 
great limiting mem- 
brane. (§337.) Ma- 
ny of these vessels, 
lie immediately under 
the external skin: (fig. 
47.) others are buried 
in the substance of the 
organs, and others 
course along the inter- 
nal membranes. In The lymphatic vessels greatly enlarged, 
Pvrrv nari flipv run showing their jointed appearance. 45 

every part, tney ran shows the intcrior valves . 46 showB 

illtO each Other fre- the vessels running into each other and 

.i • . r , their passage through a gland. 

quently, m a net-like ' 3 ° b 

manner: but they everywhere continue nearly of the 
same size. (Fig. 46.) 

§ 38G. At certain points, the lymphatics pass through 
bodies peculiar to themselves, called the lymphatic glands 
or ganglions. (Fig. 46.) These are small flattened 
bodies, of an oval or circular shape; of different sizes; 
varying in diameter, from one twentieth of an inch, to an 
inch. They are extremely vascular, and appear to con- 
sist of inextricable pelxuses, of lymphatics, blood-vessels 
and nerves. These glands are situated in different parts 
of the body, but they mostly abound in the thorax 


Graham's lectures on the 

Fig. 47. and abdomen. Leaving 

these, the lymphatics 
proceed in a direction 
towards the heart, and, 
as it were, converge 
from all parts of the 
body so as to pour their 
contents into tubes, 
which open into lars:e 
veins leading to the 
heart, near the bottom 
of the neck. Most of 
them terminate in a tube 
about the size of a goose 
juill, called the thoracic 
luct, which commences 
n the abdominal cavity, 
and passes up by the 
side of the great arterial 
trunk, in front of the 
spinal column, (fig. 48. 
D D) and, having as- 
cended a short distance 
above the large vein of 
the left arm, it turns 
down and opens into 
that vein (fig. 48. S) at 
the angle, formed by the 
junction of the large vein 
of the head, with that of 

Shows the lymphatics, c, of the thigh, the arm - Thelymphat- 
lying under the skin; with their ics of the right side of the 
glands or ganglions, a, at the groin. he&d &nd neck> of the 

right arm, the right lung and the right portion of the dia- 



Fig. 48. 

pferagmand liver, terminate in a short tube which opens into 
the corresponding vein of the arm on the right side. Besides 
these connexions with the venous system, many of the 
lymphatic vessels, as capillaries, empty into the veins in 
the tissues of the organs; — the 
lymphatics of the abdomen, ter- 
minate abundantly, in the branch- 
es of the vena portae and also in 
several other veins; and lym- 
phatic vessels terminate in veins D 
in the lymphatic glands. 

§ 337. The lymphatic system, 
though essentially the same in all 
its parts, so far as anatomical 
structure is considered, seems 
to perform a diversity of func- 
tion, and therefore, it is divid- 
ed, in the descriptions of anatomy 

and physiology., into two classes c 

or orders of vessels. The one, 
consisting of the lymphatics prop- 
er, or those employed in elaborat- 
ing lymph, and conveying it from 
every part of the body, to the 
thoracic duct: — the other con- 
sisting of the lacteals, or those 
employed in elaborating chyle 
from the contents of the alimen- 
tary cavity, and conveying it also 
to the thoracic duct. 

38. The lymyhatics proper, as I have said, (§ 385.) 
pdrrade the whole body; arising in great numbers, from 
the external skin, from all the internal membranes, ves- 
sels, and cavities, and from the substance of all the 





Shows the spinal column, 
with D D, the thoracic- 
duct ascending in front of 
it and entering the sub- 
clavian vein at S. 



organs. But the lactcals arise only, from the mucous mem- 
brane of the alimentary canal; and principally from the 
mucous membrane of the small intestine. Indeed, phys- 
iologists generally, speak of them, as arising wholly from 
this section of the canal, and as being much more nu- 

Fig. 49. 

A A is a piece of a small intestine; b b b b are the superficial 
lacteals; c c c is the mesentery, a delicate, but firm mem- 
brane, consisting of two layers, by which the intestines are 
connected with the spine and within the folds of which the 
deep-seated lacteals pass; d d d and e e e, the two sets of ab- 
sorbent glands; ff 3 the receptacle of the chyle; g, the tho- 
racic duct; i i, the lymphatics, coming from different parts 
of the body; h, the aorta, the great artery. 

merous in the upper, than in the lower portion of it. But it 
must be remembered that, there is no appreciable differ- 
ence in structure, between a lacteal and a lymphatic 
vessel, and that all, which distinguishes the one from the 
other, is that the one, in the regular performance of its 
office, elaborates and conveys chyle and the other. 


lymph, which in many respects, nearly resembles chyle. 
As a general statement, they are all assimilating organs; 
and wherever they may be situated, if they elaborate chyle 
from alimentary substances, and convey it to the thoracic 
duct, they are in fact lacteals. And it is very certain 
that, chyle may be, and there is reason to believe that, 
it regularly is elaborated, by some of these vessels, from 
the alimentary contents of the stomach. Experiments 
on animals, have proved that they can be sustained for 
months, at least, with the pyloric orifice of the stomach, 
(§341.) completely closed by a ligature; so that, the 
food received into the gastric cavity, cannot pass into the 
small intestine: but the processes of chymification 
and chylification are effected by the stomach and its 
lacteals, and the excrementitous matter is evacuated by 
the mouth. (§481.) There have also, been instances 
of human beings, who have been sustained for years in this 
manner; the pyloric orifice being entirely closed, by 
disease of the parts. " Gen. Grose, who served under 
the Duke of Cumberland, in Flanders," says Sir Everard 
Home, " had no passage through the bowels for thirty 
years; yet he had a good appetite, and ate heartily, and 
was a healthy and able-bodied man. In two hours after 
eating, he threw up the contents of his stomach, remain- 
ing undisposed of." Chyle may be, and probably is ela- 
borated to some extent, also from the large intestine, or 
colon. (§ 338.) It is not therefore, strictly correct, 
to say that, the lacteals arise only from the small intes- 
tine. For important reasons, however, it is nevertheless 
true, that they mostly abound in this section of the ali- 
mentary canal, and are most numerous in the upper two- 
thirds of this section ; or in the duodenum and jejunum. 
(§ 338.) Leaving the alimentary canal, (fig. 49. 
A A) the lacteals (fig. 49. b b) proceed across the 

364 graham's lectures on the 

mesentery, (figs. 36 and 49. c c) (§ 350) converging 
towards the back-bone, and, having passed through a 
number of their ganglions, (fig. 49. d e) here called 
the mesenteric glands, they terminate in the portion of 
the thoracic duct, (§ 386.) called the receptacle of the 
chyle. (Fig. 48. /.) According to some anatomists, 
most or all of the lacteals, traverse a portion of the 
liver, before they reach the thoracic duct. 

§ 389. The lymphatic system may be considered as 
an appendage to the venous system, furnishing it with 
all the assimilated materials, by which the body is nour- 
ished, as well as conveying to it, the effete substances, 
which are to be eliminated from the vital domain. These 
two systems ,are connected, as we have seen, (§ 386.) 
at several points, and the structure of the lymphatic ves- 
sels, much resembles that of the veins. (§ 385.) More- 
over the venous capillaries and the lymphatics appear, to 
some extent, to reciprocate in function ; and the lymphat- 
ics always empty their contents into the veins. 

§390. In the lymphatic system, as in the arterial, and 
venous, the nerves of organic life supply the nervous 
tissue of all the vessels and preside over all their func- 
tions; (§230.) and in these vessels, as we shall see, 
some of the most important vital changes take place. 

The Circulating Forces. 

§ 391. Concerning the agencies and forces, employ- 
ed in the circulation of the blood, and other fluids, in the 
vessels just described, physiologists have differed widely 
in opinion. Some have asserted that, the heart alone, 
exerts all the force, by which the blood is circulated: 
and that, the arteries and veins have no other agency in 
the general function, than as elastic, conducting tubes, 


to adapt their capacity to the volume of blood, which they 
contain:— and accordingly, the advocates of this theory, 
have denied all contractility to the arteries, and estimated 
the contractile power of the heart, as equal to many hun- 
dred pounds. — On the other hand, it is contended, 
by others, that, the heart simply injects the blood into 
the arteries, with a very small force; and the arte- 
ries, by their active and vigorous contraction, carry on 
the circulation, as in those animals which have no heart. — 
Others again, with more correctness, take the middle 
ground, between the two extremes. 

§ 392. According to the best experiments, and esti- 
mates, which have been made, on this point, the left 
ventricle of the heart, acts with a force of six pounds on 
the square inch. This ventricle, when distended, has 
about ten square inches of internal surface, and conse- 
quently, the whole force exerted by it, in throwing the 
blood into the aorta, is about sixty pounds. That the 
arteries are very elastic, and that they have the power of 
adapting their capacity to the quantity of blood in them, 
is, I believe, admitted on all hands; and it is generally 
acknowledged that, when animals bleed to death, and also 
after the heart has ceased to act, in what is called natural 
death, the arteries continue to diminish their capacity, 
till all the blood is pressed out of them. 

§ 393. We have seen (§ 376.) that, it is a general 
law of the organic economy, that all vital action is 
attended with an expenditure of vital power, and waste of 
organized substance; and that, these are replenished by 
arterial blood. It is also, a general law of the organic 
economy, that, all increased action of a part, is attended 
with an increased flow of blood to the part. But this local 
increase of blood, does not depend on the action of the 
heart; nor on the general action of the arteries. It is the 

2G6 Graham's lectures on the 

effect of the special action of the arteries of the part, act- 
ing under the influence of the special centre (§219.) 
which presides over the organic function of the part.— It 
is very evident, that, in particular organs, the blcod-ves- 
sels, and especially the arteries are, to some extent, 
under the control of the special centres which preside 
over the functions of those organs. Thus, when food 
is introduced into the stomach, the vessels of that organ 
soon become injected, sometimes even to turgescence, 
without any increased general action of the heart and ar- 
teries. The nerves of organic sensibility (§ 230.) per- 
ceiving the presence and qualities of the food, immedi- 
ately inform the special, presiding centre, and this, 
instantly, throws its stimulating influence upon the arteries 
belonging to the stomach, and causes them to fill them- 
selves, and to inject the secreting vessels, with an increas- 
ed quantity of blood: and, if the substance introduced 
into the stomach, be of a highly offensive character, the 
quantity of blood pressed into the vessels is often very 
excessive, producing great congestion. 

§ 394. Both the heart and the arteries therefore, are 
actively concerned in the general circulation of the blood; 
while the special increase of blood in particular parts, de- 
pends entirely on arterial action. At every contraction 
of the left ventricle of the heart, the aorta is somewhat 
dilated; but it instantly contracts on the blood, and 
presses it onward, through the branches, into the capillary 
extremities; (§ 374.) the blood being prevented from 
returning into the ventricle by the valves at the mouth of 
the aorta. (§369.) The branches act in the same manner 
as the main trunk. But both the aorta, and the large 
branches issuing immediately from it, are probably much 
less active agents in the function of circulation, than the 
r twigs and especially the capillary vessels. 


{§ 395.) In regard to the venous circulation, some 
physiologists have thought that, the force exerted by the 
heart, is sufficient to effect the motion of the blood in the 
veins. — Others have supposed that, the propelling action 
of the capillary vessels, the throbbing of the arteries 
against the veins, the suction of the heart by the dilata- 
tion of its auricles, and atmospheric pressure connected 
with respiration, (§ 365.) are all concerned, as moving 
forces, in the venous circulation. But the texture and 
construction of the veins (§ 3S3.) and the physiological 
analogy of the whole vital economy, show that the veins, 
as well as the capillary vessels, possess the power of 
propelling the fluids which circulate in them. 

Organs of Special Sense. 

§ 396. The parts which remain to be described, and 
which in the order of development (§ 174.) appear later 
than the internal organs, are the apparatuses to which, 
the nerves of special sense are distributed; and the hair 
and nails. The organ of touch, I have already described. 
(§ 242. 253. 2S7.) It is extended over the whole external 
surface of the body, and in fact, may be said to pervade 
the whole body ; because, at every point we are exposed 
to the action of those tangible properties of things, which 
may prove injurious and destructive to life. In man 
however, the ends of the fingers are more particularly 
appropriated to the voluntary function of touch, or feel- 
ing; and here, most thickly cluster those little tufts, or 
velvety eminences formed principally, of the minute 
extremities of the nerves of sense, called the papillae. 
(§ 2S7.) The sense of touch or feeling, is the primary 
annual sense, and exists, in a greater or less degree, 
in every living animal. ( 294.) It is detcrminately estab- 

268 graham's lectures on the 

lished upon the constitutional laws of relation, existing 
between the living body and external substances and things, 
and with strictest reference to the physiological interest of 
the body. 

Organ of Taste. 

§ 397. The nerves of taste, or the gustatory nerves, 
I have said, (§254.) are distributed to the mouth and 
throat; but the papillae in which their extremities termin- 
ate, most largely abound in the mucous membrane which 
covers the end of the tongue. This sense is founded on 
the alimentary wants of the vital economy, and determin- 
ately established on the constitutional laws of relation 
between the physiological interests of the body, and its 
appropriate alimentary substances. 

Organ of Smell. 

§ 398. The sense of smell (§ 294.) is nearly allied 
to that of taste, in the character and extent of its func- 
tional relations, and responsibilities. It is founded on the 
respiratory and alimentary wants of the vital economy, 
and determinately established on the constitutional laws of 
relation between the physiological interests of the body, 
and the qualities of external things, which may effect those 
interests, through the functions of respiration and alimen- 
tation; or through the medium of the lungs and stomach. 

§ 399. The olfactory nerves, or the nerves of smell, 
I have described, (§ 251. 252.) They proceed from the 
centre of animal perception, (§ 2S0.) and terminate, in 
the vasculo-nervous web, (§ 287.) on the exterior sur- 
face of the mucous membrane which lines the nostrils, 
and the cavities connected with it. There are four 


principal cavities; two of which, are situated in the 
upper jaw, (one on each side of the face,) and two in 
the prominent part of the frontal bone, directly above 
the eyes: and all of these communicate with the nos- 
trils. Whether the sense of smell, is as extensive as the 
mucous membrane which lines these various cavities and 
passages, or is limited to the superior part of the nasal 
fossse, is a question, on which, physiologists are not 
agreed. Some experiments, and pathological facts, seem 
to prove that the olfactory sense is limited to the superior 
part, of the nasal canals where the olfactory nerve is mostljr 
distributed; while comparative anatomy and physiology 
favor the contrary opinion; — the cavities being most 
largely developed in those animals which are most remark- 
able for their power of smell. 

§ 400. It is essential to the integrity, of the faculties 
of taste and smell, that, the parts to which these senses 
belong, should be continually moistened. If by disease, 
or otherwise, the mucous membrane of the mouth and 
nose, becomes perfectly dry, the senses of taste and of 
smell are for the time, entirely abolished. Hence, 
in a healthy state and condition of these parts, the mu- 
cous membrane is at all times, moistened and lubricated, 
by its own exhalation and secretion. (§ 339.) But this is 
not peculiar to these parts. Throughout the whole extent 
of the mucous membrane and external skin, the same 
condition is essential to the functional integrity of the 
nerves and vessels, which form the vasculo-nervous web, 
on the exterior surface. (§ 2S7.) The situation of the 
mucous membrane, in the nasal cavities, however, renders 
it peculiarly liable to become dry; and hence, there seems 
to be a necessity for a very copious supply of lubricating 
fluid: and it may therefore, be true, as has been suggested 
by some physiologists, that, the office of the cavities 

270 graham's lectures on the 

associated with the nasal canals, is to secrete mucus 
for those canals. 

Organs of Hearing and Sight. 

§401. The sense of hearing and the sense of sight 
are founded on the general wants of the organic system, 
with whatever powers and capacities it may possess; and 
with regard to the most extensive relations. (§ 294.) 
They minister, not only to those wants, which arise from 
the operations and conditions of the vital economy, but 
also, to the mental and moral wants, whether more or 
less comprehensive and diversified. They are there- 
fore, of a higher order of functional character, and are 
not susceptible of being sensualized and depraved like 
taste and smell. 

§ 402. The organism specially appropriated to these 
senses, is exceedingly complicated and difficult to be 
described, in an intelligible manner. The apparatus 
which constitutes the organ of hearing, is perhaps, the 
most intricate and complicated piece of organic mechan- 
ism, in the human body. It has been the subject of an 
immense amount of observation, investigation, and experi- 
ment. Its anatomy has been studied and described, 
with great minuteness and accuracy; and yet, at the 
present moment, very little is known of its physiology, 
except the bare fact, that, it is the organ of hearing. I 
shall therefore, only give a very brief, and general 
description, of this organ, and refer the curious reader, 
to the minute anatomists, for further information, respect- 
ing it. 

§ 403. " The organ of hearing may be divided into the 
outer, the inner, and the middle parts, and the auditory 
nerve. (Fig. 50. ) The outer part consists of the external 



ear, and the tube, which leads to the membrane of the 
tympanum. The external ear is composed chiefly, of 
cartilage, covered with a delicate skin, and supplied with 
nerves and blood-vessels. When well formed, it inclines 
a little forward, and is admirably adapted to collect sound, 
which it transmits through the tube that leads to the mem- 
brane of the tympanum. (Fig. 50. A.) This tube is 

Fig. 50. 

A map of the ear. A, the external auditory tube; B, the mem- 
brane of the tympanum; C, the Eustachian tube; D, the ham- 
mer; E, the anvil; F, the round bone; G, the stirrup; H, 
the oval opening; /, the semicircular canals; J, the vestibule; 
K, the cochlea. 

nearly an inch in length, and is formed, in part, of car- 
tilage, and in part of bone. It has a number of small 
glands or follicles which secrete the wax, (§ 333.) and its 
entrance is guarded by stiff hairs, to prevent insects and 
other foreign bodies from entering. When it is recol- 


lected however, that, the membrane of the tympanum has 
no opening, it must be apparent that the apprehension 
which is so often expressed lest insects should penetrate 
into the head, is wholly groundless. 

§ 404. ".The middle part of the organ of hearing, 
embraces the tympanum and its membrane, the small 
bones of the ear, and the Eustachian tube. (§ 340.) The 
membrane of the tympanum is situated at the bottom of 
the external passage or tube, (fig. 50. B) and is covered 
on its exterior by a thin delicate skin — the same that 
lines the tube. Its inner surface is covered by a mucous 
membrane, and a nerve, called the chord of the tym- 
panum, passes over it. To this inner surface also, is 
attached one of the small hones of the ear. This mem- 
brane is placed obliquely, inclining downwards and 
inwards; and is tense, thin and transparent. 

§ 405. " The tympanum is a cavity skuated between the 
external and internal car. It is of an irregular cylindri- 
cal form, with several openings, some communicating 
with the internal ear, and one, which is the termination of 
the Eustachian tube. It also contains the four little bones 
of the ear, called the hammer, (fig. 50. D) the anvil, 
(E) the round bone, (F) and the stirrup. (G.) These 
bones are all connected together: — the end of the ham- 
mer is attached to the membrane of the tympanum, and 
the stirrup is placed over an opening which leads to the 
internal ear. Muscles of very small size are inserted 
into these bones, and move them in various directions. 
The Eustachian tube, (C) leads from the cavity of 
the tympanum to the back part of the throat. (§ 340.) 
It is about two inches in length; — partly bone, and 
partly cartilaginous; and is lined by a mucous membrane. 
Its two extremities are not of the same size, the one 
opening into the throat, being somewhat larger than the 


§ 406. " The internal ear is situated in apart of the tem- 
poral bone, near the base of the skull, which, from its 
stony hardness, is called the petrous portion. It is com- 
posed of three parts; the cochlea, (Fig. 50. K) the 
vestibule, (J) and the semicircular canal. (I.) The 
cochlea is so called, from its resemblance to the shell of 
a snail. It is situated near the entrance of the Eustachian 
tube, and is the most anterior part of the internal ear. 
It communicates with the cavity of the tympanum and 
the vestibule. The vestibule is situated in the cen- 
tral part of the internal ear, and is, as its name imports, 
a sort of porch or entry, which communicates with all 
the other parts. By means of the oval opening (the 
foramen ovale) it communicates with the tympanum; and 
over this opening, is placed the small bone called the 
stirrup (stapes.) It has communications also, with the 
cochlea, the semicircular canals, and internal auditory 
tube, — the one through which the auditory nerve passes 
to the internal ear, on its exit from the brain; — and it 
is through the openings which lead from the vestibule, to 
the internal auditory tube, that the branches of the audi- 
tory nerve go to the various parts of the internal ear. 
The three semicircular canals are situated behind the 
cochlea and the vestibule, and they all terminate in the 
latter. They contain a dark grayish semi-fluid substance, 
the use of which is unknown. 

§407. "The auditory nerve, (§251.252.) passes 
into the internal auditory tube and is subdivided into 
numerous small filaments, which pass through the minute 
openings, and are distributed to the semicircular canals, 
the cochlea, and the vestibule, terminating in the form 
of a pulp."* 

§403. In regard to the office of these several parts, 

* Hay ward's Outlines of Human Physiology. 

274 graham's lectures on the 

in the general function of the organ, nothing is known 

with certainty. The membrane of the tympanum has 

frequently been ruptured without impairing the faculty of 

hearing. All the small bones of the ear, except the 

stapes, have also, been removed by disease, and still the 

faculty of hearing remained. These facts however, while 

they prove that, those parts are not immediately essential 

to the function of hearing, do not prove that, thev are 

not most perfectly adapted to the permanent economy, 

and functional integrity of the organ. The membrane 

of the tympanum is probably designed mainly, to shut 

out foreign substances from the inner chambers of the 

ear, and thus keep the auditory nerve, which is expanded 

in those chambers, in the most delicate and susceptible 

condition, and at the same lime, it is most perfectly 

fitted to transmit vibrations to that nerve. 

Concerning the function of the auditory and other 
organs of sense I shall speak more fully when treating 
on the intellectual and moral powers, and on the laws of 

Organ of Sight. 

§409. "The apparatus which constitutes the organ 
of vision is somewhat less complicated than that of 
hearing, and the uses of its various parts are much better 
understood. The eye is an optical instrument of the 
most perfect construction. It is of a globular form, 
composed of a number of humors, so called, which are 
covered by membranes, and enclosed in several coats. 
(Fig. 51.) These humors are called the vitreous, (c) the 
crystalline, (b) and the aqueous, (a) The vitreous, which 
takes its name from its resemblance to melted glass, is 
situated in the back part of the eye, and constitutes the 



greater portion of the globe. It is of the consistence 
of the white of an egg, and is contained in numerous 
small cells, formed in a membrane of great delicacy, 
which also covers it. On its anterior surface, there is a 
slight depression, and in this, is situated the crystalline 
humor or lens. (Fig. 51. b.) This is a body of con- 
siderable thickness and strength; and has the form of a 
double convex lens: — the convexity of the two sides 
however, is not the same. It is placed in a perpendicular 
direction immediately behind the pupil, and is kept in 
its situation by a membrane which is called its capsule. 

Fig. 51. 

A section of the human eye. a, the aqueous humor; b, 
the crystalline lens; c, the vitreous hutiiOr; d, is an object 
from which the rays of light go otf, and as they enter the eye, 
they are refracted by the dirrerent humors, and form an in- 
verted image, e, on the retina. 

In front of the crystalline lens, and occupying the whole 
of the anterior part of the eye., is the aqueous humor; 
(a) the only one of the three, which is properly called 
a humor. It is composed principally cf water, with a 
few saline particles, and a very small portion of albumen. 
— A curtain with an opening in its centre, floats in the 
aqueous humor, but is attached to one of the coats of 
the eye at its circumference. This curtain is called the 
iris, and the opening in it is the pupil. It derives its 

276 graham's lectures on the 

name from the various colors it has, in different individuals: 
and it is the color of the iris that determines the color 
of the eye. Some have thought the iris to be a mere 
continuation of one of the coats of the eye; others have 
supposed it to be a peculiar texture; and others again 
are of opinion that it is formed in part from one of the 
coverings of the eye, and that it has also a layer peculiar 
to itself. The back part of the iris, is called the uvea. 
The iris divides the space between the crystalline lens 
and the front of the eye, into two parts, called the ante- 
rior, and posterior chambers, the former of which, is 
much larger than the latter. — All the light admitted to 
the eye passes through the pupil, which is dilated and 
contracted by the radiating and circular muscular fihres 
of the iris, according to the intensity of light, the power 
of the eye, &c. 

§410. "The eye has three coats or coverings. — 

The outer, which is called the sclerotic, is a firm fibrous 

membrane (§ 169.) which serves to defend the eye from 

injury, and into which the muscles that move it in various 

directions, are inserted. It extends over the whole of 

the eye, except the fore part, which is covered by a 

transparent membrane. It is the sclerotic coat which is 

commonly called the white of the eye. — Within the 

sclerotic coat, is situated the choroid coat. It is a thin, 

delicate membrane, composed mostly, of blood-vessels 

and nerves. It is loosely attached to the sclerotic coat, 

which it covers, and is of the same form and extent. 

On the inner surface of the choroid coat is found a dark 

substance called the black pigment, which is of great 

importance in the function of vision. 

§ 411. " The inner coat of the eye, if it be not an 
expansion of the optic nerve, is composed of nervous fil- 
aments, and is called the retina. (§ 252.) It is of the same 



extent as the other coats, surrounding the whole globe 
of the eye, except the circular opening in front, to the 
edge of which, the circumference of the iris is attached, 
by a band called the ciliary ligament, and over which is 
placed the convex transparent membrane which from its 
resemblance to horn, is called the cornea." 

§ 412. The optic nerves have been fully described, 
(§251. 252.) Ct They do not enter the eyeballs in the 
centre, but a short distance from it towards the nose. 
The balls are situated in deep bony sockets, with prom- 
inences above, on which are placed the eyebrows. 
They are furnished with lids which can shut so closely as 
to exclude not only foreign bodies, but even light. There 
is also an apparatus, by which the external surface of the 
balls is moistened, and foreign particles washed away. 
The eyelids have a thin delicate skin on the outside, 
muscular fibres beneath, and a cartilage on their edges. 
They are lined by a mucous membrane which passes 
from them over the anterior part of the eye, and is called 
the tunica conjunctiva, because it is the tunic which con- 
nects the eyeballs with the lids. It is loosely attached 
to the eyelids, so as to allow free motion in all direc- 
tions. In the edges of the lids are numerous small 
glands or follicles which secrete an unctuous substance 
that is probably expended on the eyelashes."* 

§ 413. The fluid which continually moistens the eyes, 
is secreted by the lachrymal glands, which I have describ- 
ed. (§334. 345.) These glands are situated within the 
orbit, at the outer angle of each eye, (fig. 52. a) and 
constantly supply the eyes with moisture, not only when 
they are open, and in action, but also when closed, and 
quiet in sleep. The fluid thus secreted, having per- 

* Hayward's Outlines of Human Physiology. 



graham's lectures on the 

Fig. 52. 

r — d 

formed its office, passes from each eye through two 
small openings, (one in each lid) called the puncta lach- 
rimalia, (fig. 52. c c) and is thence conveyed into 

the nose by a canal on 
each side called the na- 
sal duct, (fig. 52. d e) 
which is lined by a mu- 
cous membrane. These 
canals, from inflamma- 
tion and other causes, 
frequently become ob- 
structed, and then the 
moisture accumulates in 
the eyes, till it flows 
over the under lid. — 
When the lachrymal 
glands are much excit- 
ed, by irritations of the 
eyes or nose, or by 
strong emotions of the 
mind, or morbid sensi- 
bilities, they pour their fluid into the eyes, far more rapidly 
than the nasal ducts can convey it to the nose, and conse- 
quently, it overflows the under eyelids and runs down 
upon the cheeks, and is called tears. 

§414. Each eye has six muscles, which are attached 
to the outer coat, and which turn it in every direction. 
These muscles are among the most curious parts of the 
visual apparatus. — The nerves which convey the stimu- 
lus of voluntary motion to these muscles, have been de- 
scribed. (§ 248. 249.) Those which impart the sense of 
touch, or feeling, to the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, are 
from the trifacial, or the fifth pair of the old anatomists, 
and have also, been fully described. (§254.) 

a, the lachrymal gland; b, its several 
ducts, to convey the tears to the 
eye; c c, the puncta; d e, the nasal 


§ 415. So far as the eye is considered as a mere opti- 
cal instrument, the philosophy of vision is easily under- 
stood, and explained; but when considered as a living, 
animal organ of visual perception, the philosophy of its 
function is much more intricate, and has hitherto greatly 
perplexed the learned, and given rise to many ingenious 
speculations and theories : none of which, however, 
has been free from insuperable objections. — It is not 
consistent with my general plan, that I should enter 
extensively, into an explanation of the mechanical, or 
physical philosophy of vision. The properties and laws 
of light and other principles belonging to the science of 
optics, must be studied elsewhere: but the physiological 
and psychological philosophy of vision, I shall endeavor to 
explain fully, when I come to treat on the functions of 
the intellectual and moral faculties. 

§416. It is a matter of common knowledge, that, 
light is the medium of vision. If any one will take one 
of the glasses of a pair of spectacles of considerable 
magnifying power, and cut a hole in a window-shutter, 
just large enough to receive the glass, then close the shutter, 
and exclude all light from the room, except what passes 
through the spectacle glass, if the sun is shining brightly, 
the rays of light will be seen in the darkened room, pass- 
ing from the glass, and converging or drawing together, 
till they all meet in a point or focus, and then diverging 
or spreading out, beyond this point: — the diverging rays 
forming exactly the same angle, at the focal point, that 
the converging rays do. At this focal point all the rays 
coming through the glass, cross each other ; so that, the 
top rays at the glass, are the bottom ones beyond the 
point, and the bottom rays at the glass, the top ones, 
beyond the point: and in the same manner, all the rays 
cross at the point. Now if a sheet of white paper, be 

2S0 graham's lectures on the 

placed a little beyond the focal point, a beautiful minia- 
ture image will appear upon it, of the trees, animals, or 
whatever else the rays of light may come from, which 
pass through the glass: and this image will have all the 
colors and hues of the objects, from which the rays of 
light are reflected. But the image upon the paper will 
be upside down, and turned side for side; and this will 
be caused by the crossing of the rays of light, at the 
focal point: and the rays of light arc made to cross each 
other, by passing through the glass, in the shutter, which 
is thicker in the centre than at the circumference, and, 
being a more dense or solid substance than the atmos- 
phere, bends the rays towards each other, as they pass 
through it. The rays will be bent towards each other 
more or less, in passing through the glass, according as 
the glass is more or less convex; or in proportion as the 
centre of the glass is thicker than its edge at the cir- 
cumference; and consequently, the more convex the glass, 
the sooner will the rays, which pass through it, come to 
a point, and cross each other. And, if instead of a spec- 
tacle glass, a small glass globe, filled with water, be placed 
in the hole, in the window-shutter, the rays will cross and 
diverge before they get through it, and the image will be 
thrown upon the back part of the globe. 

§ 417. This is a brief description of what is called a 
camera obscura — or darkened chamber; which is con- 
sidered the best illustration of the eye, and of the physi- 
cal philosophy of vision. The interior of the eye is 
the darkened room; the cornea is the perfectly transpa- 
rent window glass; the iris is the shutter, the pupil is the 
hole through which the rays of light enter, and the 
aqueous, crystaline, and vitreous humors constitute a 
lens of so great a convexity that the rays cross and 
diverge before they get through the globe, and throw their 


inverted image upon the retina, (fig. 51.) where, accord- 
ing to the received theory of vision, the mind perceives 
it, not as the image of external things, but as the things 
themselves, which the judgment, somehow or other, 
contrives to get right end upwards. But of this, more 

§418. Sometimes, either from the shape of the eye- 
ball, or from the shape and situation of the crystaline 
lens, the rays of light cross too near the cornea, (§ 411.) 
and the image upon the retina, is confused and indistinct. 
This is the case with near-sighted people. When the 
eye becomes enfeebled by old age, or disease, either 
from the falling back of the crystaline lens, or the flat- 
tening of the ball, the focal point is formed too near the 
retina, and by this means also, the image is rendered 
imperfect and confused. In the former case, spectacles 
with concave, and in the latter with convex glasses, assist 
the eye in forming its focus at the proper distance from 
the retina: — the concave glasses, by spreading out the 
rays before they enter the pupil, and thus preventing their 
crossing so soon after they have entered; and the con- 
vex glasses, by bringing the rays nearer together before 
they enter the eye, and thus causing them to cross sooner 
after they have entered. In the eye however, as in 
every other part of the vital organism, the physiological 
powers are always impaired by a dependence on artificial 
means: and though it may sometimes be convenient, and 
even necessary, to have recourse to the use of glasses, 
to regulate the focal distance of the eye, yet it is certain 
that, thousands of eyes are permanently injured, where 
one is benefited by such means. 

§ 419. The eye in a healthy and vigorous state, un- 
doubtedly has the power of adjusting its own focal dis- 
tance, either by the movement of its crystaline lens, 

282 graham's lectures on the 

or in some other manner: and if man were always obe- 
dient to the laws of his nature, he would never need arti- 
ficial means to improve his vision, though his life were 
prolonged to a thousand years. But it must ever be 
remembered, that, neither the eye, nor any other part of 
the living body, can be diseased or cured independently 
of the common vital economy of the whole organized 
system; and that the physiological interests of each par- 
ticular part are inseparably connected with those of every 
other part: so that the organs of sight, of hearing, of 
smell, of taste, and of touch, and all the other constituent 
parts of the living whole, are dependent for their indi- 
vidual welfare, on the common weal of the general assem- 

Hair and Nails. 

§ 420. The hair and nails are generally spoken of, as 
appendages of the skin, but they are as dependent on an 
appropriate organism, consisting of vessels, nerves, &c. 
for their production and sustenance, as any other part of 
the living body. Every hair has its root, which is situ- 
ated immediately under the skin, and consists of a small 
oval pulp, invested by a sheath, or capsule, and supplied 
with vessels and nerves. The shaft which rises above the 
surface of the skin, consists mostly of a horny substance 
resembling that of the epidermis. (§287.) In its origin, 
it is tubular; the inner part being occupied by the pulp: 
but the pulp extends only to that portion of the hair, 
which is in a state of growth, and never rises above the 
surface of the skin. As the shaft is prolonged from the 
surface, therefore, its cavity is either gradually obliterat- 
ed, or is filled with a dry pith or spongy substance which 
is supposed to contain air. 


§421. The health and vigor of the hair depends en- 
tirely on the health and vigor of the root; and this, as a 
living organ, is a constituent member of the general sys- 
tem; and its vital interests are inseparably connected 
with the general welfare of the body. Every injury done 
to the digestive organs, every instance of gluttony or 
intemperance, or sensual excess of any kind, and every 
violent excitement or emotion of the mind, such as anger, 
fear, grief, &c. immediately and powerfully affect the 
roots of the hair, and through them, the health of the hair 
itself. Violent grief has covered many a head with gray 
hairs, in a very short time: and violent paroxysms of fear 
have produced the same effect in a few hours; and so has 
excessive sensuality. But the abuses of the stomach, or 
dietetic errors are probably the most general causes of 
the unhealthiness of the hair, and of baldness, in civic 
life. When the health of the roots of the hair begins to 
decline, the bulb diminishes in size, the vessels lose their 
power of supplying nourishment, the coloring matter 
ceases to be deposited, and the hair soon becomes gray 
or white. The hair therefore, though its stem or shaft 
above the surface of the skin is destitute of vessels and 
nerves, and has no sensibility, ought nevertheless to be 
regarded, and treated as a living part of the living body; 
and its health should be cherished, and its disease avoided 
or remedied, only upon principles, and by means, which 
are in perfect accordance with the general laws of life 
and health; and favorable to the well being of the whole 
system. All external applications, except, in so far as 
they contribute to the health and vigor of the roots by the 
cleanliness and exercise of the skin, are entirely useless, 
and in most cases decidedly injurious. In a healthy state 
of the hair and its appropriate organs it is always supplied 
with an oily secretion or halitus, with which it is anoint- 

284 graham's lectures on the 

ed, and it can never be benefited, but is generally injured 
by the application of any other unction. A proper regard 
to all the physiological laws of the body, is the only genu- 
ine prophylactic for the hair, and the only ground on which 
any one can reasonably hope to restore the natural covering 
to a bald head. 

The Nails. 

§422. The nails, like the hair, though composed of 
an insensible horny substance, destitute of nerves and 
vessels, have their appropriate organs or roots, by which 
they are produced and sustained, and by which also, they 
are physiologically associated with all the living organs 
and parts of the body, and brought under their common 
laws of life and health. They do not however appear to 
sympathize, so directly and powerfully, in the particular 
affections of the body, and mind, as the hair; but they are 
always involved in the general and permanent physiologi- 
cal conditions of the system: being more or less moist 
and pliable, or dry and brittle, according to the general 
state of health: and in some instances, they are entirely 
destroyed by a general disease of the body, or what is 
probably more correct, by the medicinal substances, em- 
ployed to cure the disease. 

§ 423. The truth is, that every part of the living 
body, even the cuticle or epidermis, (§ 287.) is 
either a living substance, or so closely connected with 
living organs, and so immediately dependent on vital 
functions and conditions, that, it is brought under the 
general laws of the vital domain, and kept in its best con- 
dition, by the health and integrity of all the organs of the 
system: and therefore, ought always, to be treated with 
reference to health and disease, as a constituent portion 


of the living body; which cannot be either benefited or 
injured, without in some measure, correspondently affect- 
ing the whole vital economy. 


Exercise of the voluntary powers in procuring food — Mastication and 
deglutition — Gastric digestion — Beaumont's experiments — Saliva and 
gastric juice, solvent fluids — True chymification only effected by the 
living organs — Function of the pylorus — Importance of the stomach — • 
Character of the chyme — Indigestible substances, how disposed of 
by the stomach — Not all the properties of the food digested — Time 
employed in digestion — How fluids are disposed of — Absorption, by 
what vessels performed — Fluids rarely descend into the small intes- 
tine, unless strongly offensive to the absorbents, &c as alcholic 
liquors when first used, &c. — Function of digestion, on what its integ- 
rity depends — Chyme, how presented to the lacteals — Chyle, where 
formed and by what vessels — None in the alimentary cavity — Use 
of the pancreatic fluid — Use of the bile, and functional character of 
the liver — Portal system — Communication between the liver, kid- 
neys, lungs., skin, &c. — Alcholic liquors, why not at first admitted 
into the general circulation — Foreign substances found in the portal 
blood — Use of the spleen — Oily matter and acids in the food require 
bile — Chyle secreted — its nature — Process of chylification mysterious 
— Chyle the same whatever the food — Function of the mesenteric 
glands — Globules of the chyle invested with tunics — Passage of the 
chyle to the lungs— Function of respiration — Blood circulated for the 
nourishment of the body — Quantity of blood in the body, frequency 
of pulse, &c. — Vitality of the blood, character of its globules, &c. — 
Saline property of the serum — Foreign properties in the blood — 'An- 
imal heat — Nutrition— Secretion — Adipose matter, its use — Size of 
the body determinate — Decomposition — Depuration — Wear, expen- 
diture and disease. 

§ 424. Having taken a general survey of the materials 
and construction of the human body, and attended to the 

286 Graham's lectures on the 

minute anatomy of its several organs, as fully as is 
necessary in order to a clear and correct understanding of 
the physiology of the system, we are prepared to enter 
upon the more interesting and pleasing study of vital 
function, or the offices performed by the several parts of 
the body as living organs, in the wonderful economy of 
the vital domain. 

§425. Let us then contemplate the living, human 
being, rising from the Creator's hand, and awakening to 
the consciousness of his existence, and of his wants; and 
to a perception of the external world. — He soon feels 
that special sensation which we call hunger, or the instinc- 
tive desire for food. This sensation, physiologists have 
attempted to explain in various ways, and most of them 
with much more fancy than truth. My own views in 
regard to it, will be presented when I come to speak of 
the proper times of eating. — Prompted by this instinc- 
tive impulse, man exercises his voluntary powers for the 
supply of the want. He looks abroad, and beholds the 
fruit hanging upon the drooping bough of the tree, and 
by a voluntary control of his lower limbs he moves for- 
ward to the object of his vision. The specific odor of 
the fruit freighting the air which he breathes, is brought 
into contact with his olfactory nerves, (§399.) and he 
instinctively perceives, by the special sense of smell, that 
it is good for food. By a voluntary control of his upper 
limbs, or organs of prehension, he puts forth his hand 
and seizes the fruit, and places it between his teeth, with 
which, by a voluntary exercise of the various appropriate 
muscles attached to his under jaw, he cuts and mashes it 
into minute particles. The instant this process is com- 
menced, the special sense of taste (§397.) perceives 
another specific quality of the food, and corroborates the 
testimony of the sense of smell. And while the process 


of mastication is going on, the mucous membrane of the 
mouth, secretes its glairy and lubricating fluid, (§ 333. 
339.) to shield its delicate little organs, (§287.) from 
too rude a touch, and to facilitate the movements of the 
food upon its surface, and its passage into the stomach. 
At the same time, also, the salivary glands (§ 340.) se- 
crete from the arterial blood, and pour into the oral 
cavity, a copious supply of a bland, tasteless fluid called 
the saliva, to be thoroughly mixed with the aliment, by 
the action of the teeth. 

Mastication, Insalivation and Deglutition. 

§ 426. The functions of the oral cavity, are generally 
regarded as merely preparatory for deglutition, or swal- 
lowing; and the salivary fluid is considered as simply 
intended for this purpose. But this is incorrect. The 
mucous secretions and serous exhalations of the mouth 
and fauces and oesophagus (§ 339.) are abundantly suf- 
ficient for all the purposes of lubrication and dilution, 
necessary to prepare the food for deglutition. The sali- 
va is truly a solvent fluid, and designed to act as such 
upon the alimentary contents of the oral cavity: and 
always, when the function of mastication is properly and 
thoroughly performed, the process of assimilation or 
digestion commences in the mouth: — the change, effect- 
ed there, being greater or less, according to the perfect- 
ness of mastication, the length of time the food is 
detained in the mouth and the healthiness and purity of 
the salivary fluid. And it is certain that, the change 
can be carried so far as to afford nutrient matter to the 
lymphatics (§385. 387.) of the parts. — By hasty and 
imperfect mastication therefore, a fourfold injury is done 
to the stomach. 1. It compels that organ to receive the 

288 graham's lectures on the 

food more rapidly than is consistent with the welfare of 
its own physiological economy. (§ 429.) 2. It com- 
pels the stomach to secrete a larger quantity of solvent 
fluid, than would be necessary if the functions of the 
mouth had been properly performed. 3. It compels the 
stomach, at great inconvenience, to reduce by macera- 
tion, those masses, which ought to have been broken 
down and finely comminuted by the teeth: and 4; by 
increasing the duration and difficulty of gastric digestion, 
it increases the expenditure of the functional powers of 
the stomach, and thus causes a greater degree of vital 
exhaustion, in that organ, tending to debility and disease. 
§427. When the food is prepared for deglutition, it 
is gathered back upon the arch of the tongue, whence it 
is suddenly launched into the pharynx (§ 338. 340.) and 
passes into the oesophagus or meatpipe, by which it is 
conveyed into the stomach. In its transition from the 
arch of the tongue to the meatpipe, the food, it will be 
remembered, passes by several orifices and directly over 
the mouth of the windpipe. (§ 340.) But it must not be 
permitted to enter any of these orifices, nor cause any 
considerable interruption to respiration: and therefore, 
the orifices are closed during its transition; and its pas- 
sage is very rapid: and hence, the function of deglutition 
or swallowing, is somewhat complicated, and requires the 
perfect co-operation of all the parts concerned. At the 
instant the food is launched from the arch of the tongue, 
the muscles of the pharynx (§ 347.) contract, shortening 
that organ, and raising up the larynx: (§356.) at the 
same instant, the veil of the palate is pressed back, and 
closes the nasal canals, and the tubes coming from the 
ears, (§ 340.) the epiglottis (§ 340. 354.) shuts down 
and closes the glottis, or mouth of the windpipe, and the 
pharynx darts up, as it were, and seizes the descending 



mass, and suddenly dropping down, presses it into the 
meatpipe. — If in this process there is any want of con- 
sent, or co-operation of the parts, — if the food or drink 
is accidentally thrown into the pharynx, without the 
determinate action of the will, or if the will attempts 
to arrest the action of swallowing when the food has 
passed a little too far to he recovered, or if there hap- 
pens to be a spasm or paralysis of any of the parts at the 
moment, a derangement of the function takes place, and 
a portion of the food or drink, passes into the exceed- 
ingly sensitive mouth of the windpipe, (§247.) which 
instantly gives alarm to its presiding centre, (§219.) 
and a convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs, 
drives the intruding substance violently back, through the 
mouth and nose, and in some instances, through the ears. 
But the irritation produced in the mouth of the wind- 
pipe, does not immediately cease when the irritating 
substance is expelled, and hence an unpleasant sensation 
and perhaps violent coughing continues for some sec- 
onds, or even minutes, after the expulsion takes place. 

§428. As soon as the oesophagus recieves the food, its 
muscular coat (§338. 347.) contracts upon it from above 
downward, and presses it onward into the stomach: — and 
at the same time, the mucous follicles (§ 333.) situated 
in this narrow passage, pour out their lubricating fluid, to 
shield the nerves and vessels of the lining membrane, 
(§ 287.) and to facilitate the movement of the descending 
mass. The oesophagus does not cease to act however, 
when the food has passed from it into the stomach; but 
continues, — and especially its lower portion, to contract 
vigorously from above downward to the cardiac orifice 
(§ 341.) to prevent a regurgitation of the food, during the 
action of the stomach. 

290 graham's lectures on the 

Gastric Digestion. 

§ 429. When the food reaches the stomach, it is 
instantly perceived by the delicate little feelers, (230. 
287. 290.) which largely abound in the vasculo-nervous 
web of the mucous membrane, lining the gastric cavity, 
and these, at once, inform the presiding centre, (§220.) 
which throws its stimulus on the several tissues of the 
organ; (§313.) the muscular fibres (§347.) are called 
into rapid and vigorous action; — an increased quantity 
of arterial blood, is injected into the vessels, (§ 393.)— 
the nervous power (§ 164.) is exalted, and the tempera- 
ture is somewhat elevated. By the contraction of 
the different layers of muscular fibres, the whole 
stomach is thrown into a gentle commotion, by which 
the food is carried around the gastric cavity, and every- 
where pressed against the internal surface. This excites 
the little vessels, or as some say, glands (§332.) that 
secrete a thin transparent fluid, which very soon begins, 
like sensible perspiration, to exude from the mucous 
membrane, in small drops, and mingle with the food. 
This fluid is called the gastric juice, from gaster the 
ancient Greek name of the stomach. After the first 
portion of food has been carried about the gastric cavity, 
and freely mixed with this fluid, if the stomach be not 
crowded and embarrassed, by a too rapid ingestion or 
swallowing, its muscles relax in some degree, and the 
organ is prepared for another portion, which, when 
received, undergoes the same process as the first. These 
operations are continued, till the stomach is distended 
with food, and the meal is finished; when the muscular 
action becomes less rapid, and a gentle, undulating, or 
vermicular motion succeeds, and is kept up, till the func- 


tion of the stomach is completed, and its contents are 
emptied into the small intestine. 

§ 430. The process of digestion was formerly supposed 
not to commence, till some time after the food is received 
into the stomach: but this notion is now known to be 
incorrect. When the functions of the oral cavity are 
thoroughly performed, the process commences there. 
(§426.) The passage of the food from the mouth to 
the stomach, is too rapid to admit of any assimilating 
change, during the transition. But no sooner is the 
properly masticated food introduced into the stomach, 
than the process of gastric digestion commences. 

§431. Concerning the nature of this process, and the 
means by which it is effected, the human mind has been 
busy with its speculations, from the time 6i Hippocrates, 
to the present; and perhaps, from a much earlier period: 
and, until a comparatively recent date, the results were 
little more than fanciful, and erroneous theories. Some 
supposed it to be a process of putrifaction, — others, a 
process of concoction, — others, of fermentation, and 
others, of trituration. Indeed, a century has scarcely 
elapsed, since any thing like a correct notion began to be 
entertained on the subject: — and even yet, there is no little 
discrepancy of opinion in relation to it, among physiolo- 
gists. Dr. Beaumont of the United States Army, from 
his peculiar advantages, and by his patient perseverance 
in experiments and observations, has perhaps, done more 
than any other man, to settle the disputed points; but 
even he has evidently been misled in some respects by- 
false theories, and has left broad ground for controversy.* 

*Dr. Beaumont published in the close of the year 1833 his "Experi- 
ments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of 
Digestion." These experiments " were commenced in 1825, and con- 
tinued, with various interruptions, till 1833." The subject of them 

292 graham's lectures on the 

It is however, well ascertained that, the gastric juice is 
the principal agent, under vital control, of the change 
which - the lood undergoes in the stomach. This fluid, 
as well as that secreted by the salivary glands, and the 
pancreas, has frequently been analyzed by the chemists; 
but without the most remote advantage to physiology or 
medicine. x\s a matter of chemical science, we know 
whats ubstances are obtained by a chemical analysis of the 
fluid taken from the stomach: but not the least ray of 
light is thereby thrown upon the physiology of the stom- 
ach. We know no better than we did before it was 
analyzed, what are the peculiar properties of this fluid, in 
the living stomach, by which it produces its specific 
effects, as an agent, in the vital process of digestion: and 
should we attempt to assist the stomach, by throwing into 
it, any of those substances which result from a chemical 
analysis of the gastric juice, we should be more likely to 
injure, than to benefit the organ. Indeed, it is well known 
that, both the chemical, and physiological character of the 
gastric juice, are very considerably affected by the die- 
tetic habits, by the general state of, the health, by the 

was Alexis St. Martin, a Canadian of French descent, who, in 1S22, 
when about eighteen years of age, with a good constitution, and robust 
health, was accidentally wounded by the discharge of a musket, the 
contents of which were received in his left side, and carried away the 
parts, so as to wound the lungs and stomach, very seriously. Under 
the care of Dr. Beaumont, ?t. Martin recovered his health; but in the 
healing of the parts, the lacerated coats of the stomach, attached them- 
selves to the lips of the external wound, and formed an artificial aper- 
ture to the stomach; so that, the gastric cavity could be examined, and 
substances put into, or taken from it at any time, by pushing in a valve 
which the stomach had formed to close the aperture, so as to prevent 
its contents from escaping- thereat. Dr. Beaumont's advantages for 
gastric experiments and observations were therefore, probably better 
than have ever been enjoyed by any other man, and they were diligently 
and faithfully improved. 


affections of the mind, and by the conditions of the stom- 
ach: and this is also true of the salivary and pancreatic 
fluids; and in fact of all the fluids of the body. All 
physiological, and medical, and dietetic theories, and 
practices, therefore, founded on chemical knowledge, in 
regard to the secretions and assimilating changes, which 
are produced by the organic economy, are established in 
utter darkness, and are more frequently the sources of 
evil, than of good to mankind. 

§432. We are told, it is true, that the gastric juice 
can be taken from the living stomach, and put upon 
cooked, and masticated food, in a glass vessel, and that, 
if it be kept at the temperature of the stomach, (§ 434.) 
it will, in the course of several hours, digest the food: 
and some of the chemical physiologists assert that, they 
can prepare an artificial gastric juice, which will do the 
same. And without doubt, they can prepare an artificial 
gastric juice, which will digest the food as well, as will 
the fluid taken from the stomach. But the truth is that, 
neither the artificial, nor real gastric juice can effect the 
changes, in an inorganic vase, which are produced in the 
living stomach. They may macerate or dissolve the 
substances on which they act, and reduce them to the 
consistency and appearance of the digested contents of the 
stomach, but they cannot produce genuine chyme, from 
which the appropriate organs of the living body, can 
elaborate chyle. 

§ 433. The gastric fluid, therefore, is, in truth, a vital 
solvent: for, although it undoubtedly possesses in some 
degree, from its intrinsic character, a solvent and an anti- 
septic power, — especially if it be kept at a high temper- 
ature, yet it is only when acting under the vital control 
of the living organ, that it can be, in any measure, the 
agent of that vital change which is essential to genuine 

294 graham's lectures on the 

chymification: and even in the living stomach, when the 
process of digestion is healthfully going on, if by any 
means, the nervous power of that organ, be considerably 
diminished, (§ 164.) the process will be retarded, and 
perhaps wholly arrested; and inorganic affinities will 
become active, and inorganic combinations result, in 
direct hostility to the vital welfare. For, not only 
disintegration and decomposition, but new and peculiar 
combinations take place in the vital changes, which are 
effected by the digestive organs; and these combinations 
as we have seen (§ 117.) are the results of affinities or 
forces, which act in opposition to the inorganic affinities 
of matter: and the inorganic affinities are subdued and 
the vital affinities superinduced, only by the immediate 
and controlling influence of the living organ. (§ 121.) 

§434. During the early stages of gastric digestion, 
the pyloric orifice of the stomach, (§ 341.) is completely 
closed, by the contraction of the muscular fibres of the 
pylorus, (§ 347.) so that, the contents of the gastric 
cavity, cannot be pressed into the small intestine, by 
the muscular action of the stomach: and the alimentary 
mass is kept in constant motion; and becomes thoroughly 
permeated by the gastric juice. The temperature of 
the stomach is somewhat elevated by the concentration 
of vital power, in the tissues of the organ, to enable it 
to perform its function. In a healthy and vigorous body, 
it varies from a hundred, to a hundred and four degrees, 
Fah. When the digestive organs have been impaired, 
and chronic debility and preternatural irritability, induced 
in them, this concentration of vital energy, during the 
process of digestion, is often attended with a disagreeable 
feeling of chilliness of the external surface of the body, 
and many of the symptoms of an internal fever: — and 
more especially, if the dietetic habits are objectionable. 


435. By the solvent power of the gastric juice, the 
food is gradually reduced to a soft pultaceous mass, and 
brought into a proximate state of chymification. The 
portions of the mass, which come in contact with the 
mucous membrane of the stomach, are then, still further 
acted on, by the vital powers of the organ, and, in a 
peculiar and inexplicable manner, the nutritious properties 
of the aliment, are converted into a substance, very 
different from anything in the food, when it was received 
into the stomach. This substance is real chyme; and 
in the language of physiology, it is said to be homoge- 
neous: — and, so far as chemical tests can determine, it is 
nearly identical in character, whatever be the kind, or 
kinds of food, from which it is formed. But in regard 
to its physiological qualities, and its nice relations to the 
vital economy, its character varies with the food, as we 
shall see hereafter. (§ 466.) 

§ 436. When the portion of aliment, which comes in 
contact with the mucous membrane of the stomach, is 
converted into chyme, it is carried forward, by the mus- 
cular action of the stomach, slowly, towards the small 
extremity, and, as it advances, the chymifying change is 
more and more perfected, till it reaches the pylorus, or 
gate-keeper, (§347.) which, by a nice organic instinct, 
perceives its character and condition, and immediately 
opens, and suffers it to pass into the portion of the small 
intestine, called the duodenum. (§ 338.) When the 
pylorus is in a perfectly healthy state, if a crude mass of 
undigested food, attempts to pass into the duodenum with 
the chyme, it instantly closes, and the intruder is carried 
back, to be subjected still further, to the operations of 
the stomach. If it be of an indigestible nature, it is 
finally, either permitted to pass into the intestinal tube, 
or is suddenly and convulsively ejected from the stomach, 

296 graham's lectures on the 

through the meatpipe and mouth. But when the stomach 
is greatly debilitated, and its organic sensibilities become 
unhealthy, (§ 296.) the integrity of the pylorus is impaired, 
and crude substances are frequently permitted to pass into 
the intestines, where they become the causes of irritation, 
and produce many uncomfortable disturbances, and in 
some instances, fatal disorders. 

§ 437. When one portion of the contents of the gas- 
tric cavity, is chymified, and removed into the duodenum, 
another portion comes in contact with the inner surface 
of the stomach, and is operated on in the same manner, 
till the whole mass is chymified, and carried into the 
small intestine. But if, by a paralysis of the muscles 
of the stomach, or any other means, the chymified por- 
tion, in contact with the inner surface of the organ, is 
not removed, the process of chymification is entirely 
arrested. It is therefore, essential to genuine chymifi- 
cation, that, every portion of the alimentary matter, 
should come in contact with the living organ; and, in 
order to this, each successive portion, as it is chymified, 
must be removed: and hence, muscular action, though 
not immediately concerned in the vital change which takes 
place in the portion of the food in contact with the 
mucous membrane, is nevertheless, as essential to the 
general function of the stomach, as nervous power. 

§ 438. Not only the unlearned reader, but even physi- 
ologists themselves are often betrayed into error, by the 
indefiniteness of the language used in physiological works. 
When it is said that, the alimentary matter received 
into the stomach, is, by the process of digestion, con- 
verted into a homogeneous substance called chyme, it 
should be understood, that, this is a general statement, 
which, in fact, is not strictly true. All the alimentary 
substances in nature, suitable for human food, consist of 



certain proportions of nutritious and innutritious matter, 
and the alimentary organs of man, are constituted to 
receive, and act upon such substances. In the process 
of digestion therefore, it is only the nutritious portion, 
of the alimentary matter on which we subsist, that under- 
goes the assimilating change, and is converted into real 
chyme. The innutritious portion is simply separated 
from the nutritious, and reduced to such a state and con- 
dition, as fit it to pass along the alimentary tube, as fecal, 
or excrementitious matter. Nor is it strictly true, that, 
all the nutritious properties of our food, are perfectly 
chymified in the stomach, as is generally supposed. 
This error has grown out of the notion that, the stomach 
is peculiarly and exclusively, the organ of chymification; 
but this process, as we have seen, (§320.) is common 
to the whole alimentary cavity. The stomach receives 
the food from the mouth, more or less changed, accord- 
ing as the functions of the oral cavity have been more or 
less perfectly performed. (§426.) In the gastric cavity, 
a general solution of the alimentary matter, is effected, 
and, in the nutritious portion, the assimilating change is 
very far advanced; and, in some parts of it, the process 
of chymification is perfected, and the matter is prepared 
for the action of the organs which elaborate the chyle: 
and undoubtedly, this matter is acted on to some extent 
by those organs, before it leaves the stomach. (§388.) 
In other portions of the nutritious matter the chymifying 
change is not perfected in the gastric cavity, and there- 
fore the process remains to be completed in other sections 
of the alimentary canal. 

§ 439. Some kinds of food pass through the stomach 
much more slowly than other kinds: and the stomach of 
one individual, differs from that of another, in regard to 
the time employed in the process of digestion: and even 

298 graham's lectures on the 

the same stomach varies in this respect, very considera- 
bly, with the varying circumstances and conditions of the 
individual: — but as a general statement, the food received 
at an ordinary meal, undergoes the process of gastric 
digestion, and passes from the stomach into the duodenum, 
in, from two to five hours. 

§ 450.* When water is received into the stomach, it 
does not appear to undergo any change in the gastric 
cavity, but is all removed by absorption, in a very few 
minutes, if the stomach is healthy and vigorous; and still 
more rapidly, in some forms of disease, when the mucous 
membrane of the stomach (§ 338.) is inflamed, and the 
system is laboring under general symptoms of fever, 
attended with great thirst. In chronic diseases, of a dys- 
.peptic character, on the other hand, absorption often takes 
place very slowly, and the water which is drank, will 
sometimes remain in the gastric cavity for hours, retard- 
ing digestion, and causing acidity, flatulence and eructa- 
tions: and finally, perhaps, the greater part of it will be 
regurgitated or thrown up, with portions of undigested 
food. When liquid food, or water holding in solution 
any kind of nutritious animal or vegetable matter, such 
as flesh or vegetable broth or soup, is taken into the 
stomach, the aqueous part is all absorbed, before the 
process of digestion commences. Milk, also is managed 
in a similar manner. The gastric juice separates the 
curd from the aqueous portion, and the latter is absorbed, 
and the curd is then digested. But when indigestable 
substances are received into the stomach in aqueous 
solution, they are absorbed with the water and pass into 
the vital domain with no apparent change. 

* There is an error in the numbering here, which was discovered too 
late to be corrected; hut there is no interruption in the matter of the 
text; nor any disarrangement of the references. 



§ 451. In what manner, and by what particular agents 
this absorption of unchanged matter is effected, are ques- 
tions about which there has been a vast amount of con- 
troversy: to settle which, very numerous and diversified 
experiments have been made, on living animals and dead 
substances, and with very different and inconclusive results. 
— We have seen that, the skin and mucous membrane 
constitute the great enveloping and limiting membrane 
of the vital domain (§ 288. 330.) through which every 
thing passes that enters into, or egresses from that domain; 
and that, there is, on every part of the exterior surface 
of this limiting membrane, a vasculo-nervous web or 
plexus formed by the minute extremities of arteries, 
veins, lymphatics and nerves. (§ 2S7.) Of these three 
kinds of vessels entering into this web, the veins appear 
to be much the most numerous; and especially in the 
alimentary canal; where according to Dr. Horner, who 
is probably correct, the venous capillaries of themselves, 
form a superficial plexus. (§ 380. Note.) Now the grand 
question is, whether the lymphatics absorb both assimila- 
ted and unassimilated substances? or whether they absorb 
only assimilated, and the veins only unassimilated sub- 
stances? Some physiologists have embraced one of these 
views, and some the other: and both have perhaps, been 
equally confirmed by experiments on living animals. 
These experiments however, have been wholly inconclu- 
sive; and from the nature of things, they ever must be. 
The actions of any part of the living body under the 
anguish and agonies of such experiments cannot afford 
conclusive evidence of the normal and regular functions 
of those parts. (§ 216.) Undoubtedly, under such cir- 
cumstances, both the venous capillaries and the lymphat- 

300 graham's lectures on the 

ics can be made to absorb foreign and unassimilated 
substances; and the fact settles no principle in physiology. 
The question is not, what are the abnormal possibilities of 
the organic system ? but what are the regular, and appro- 
priate functions of the parts in the normal condition and 
operations of the vital economy? — Here there seems to 
be less ground for dispute : — for there is little reason to 
doubt that, in the regular and undisturbed performance 
of their appropriate functions, the lymphatics, including 
the lacteals, (§ 387.) are principally confined to assim- 
ilated, and assimilable substances; — and foreign and unas- 
similated substances are mostly, absorbed by the venous 
capillaries. It is however, probable that, in some in- 
stances, foreign substances find their way into the lym- 
phatic extremities which inosculate with the venous 
capillaries, and which transfer those substances to the 
veins in the lymphatic glands, in the portal system and at 
other points of connexion. (§ 3S6.) 

§ 452. The venous capillaries then, which form the 
superficial venous plexus, of the mucous membrane of 
the stomach and intestines, (§ 3S0.) are undoubtedly 
the vessels which absorb the water and other substances 
that pass unchanged, from the alimentary cavity, into the 
vital domain: and these capillaries, we know to be the 
radicles of the great venous trunk of the portal system 
(§ 381 .) through which, as a general fact, all unassimilated 
substances that enter the general circulation, find their 
way to the vena cava. (§ 378.) 

. § 453. The pyloric orifice of the stomach, being 
nearly on a level with the cardiac orifice (§341.) or that 
at which the food enters, (fig. 26. c b) the contents of the 
gastric cavity, do not descend into the intestines by the 
force of gravity, but are, as it were, lifted up and pressed 
through the pyloric, orifice, by the contraction of the 


muscular fibres of the stomach: (§ 347.) But there is 
comparatively, little of this acticn, when pure water is 
received into the gastric cavity, and consequently, very 
little of this fluid ordinarily passes into the small intestine, 
but is mostly taken up by the absorbents of the stomach. 
When irritating and deleterious substances are mingled 
with the water however, the absorbents of the stomach, 
receive it much more reluctantly; and, as the stomach 
will not long retain it, a considerable portion of it is ex- 
pelled from the gastric cavity, into the small intestine. 
Hence when ardent spirit is introduced into the stomach 
of animals, and they are shortly after killed and examined, 
the mucous membrane, not only of the stomach, but also 
of the small intestine, is always found highly inflamed. 

§ 454. The healthfulness and integrity of the digestive 
function of the stomach, then, depend principally, on 
three things. — 1. Healthy and vigorous nervous power; 
(§164.) 2. healthy secretion; (§429.) and 3. healthy 
and vigorous muscular action: (§347.) and neither of 
these, can be impaired without injuring the others. 
The nervous power always suffers from all inordinate 
mental action and excitement, and especially from the 
depressing passions such as fear, grief, painful anxiety, 
&c. (§ 304.) Narcotic substances of every kind, and in 
fact, all purely stimulating substances, also impair the 
nervous power. — Improper kinds and conditions of food, 
gluttony, lewdness, sensuality of every kind, in short, 
every thing that tends to impair the general health of the 
body, serves to diminish the nervous power of the stomach: 
and all those causes injuriously effect the secretions, and 
the muscular power and action of that organ; and conse- 
quently, impair the healthfulness and integrity of its func- 


£02 graham's lectures on the 


§455. As the chyme passes from the gastric cavity 
into the duodenum, or upper portion of the small intestine 
(§338.) it is instantly perceived by the innumerable 
little feelers or nerves of organic sensibility, in the vascu- 
Io-nervous plexus of the mucous membrane, (§287. 290.) 
and they, like those of the stomach, (§ 429.) immediately 
inform their presiding centre or centres, (§ 220.) by which 
the muscles of the part are excited to action, causing a 
vermicular, or worm-like motion by the successive con- 
traction of the fibres (§ 347.) from above downwards. 
By this motion the chyme is slowly carried along the 
intestinal tube; its course being considerably retarded by 
the semilunar folds of the mucous membiane, ($ C4G. 
Fig. 32.) and at the same time, a solvent fluid nearly 
resembling the gastric juice, exudes from the vessels of 
the membrane. (§ £39.) 

§ 456. As soon as the chyme enters the small intestine, 
the lacteals which, as we have seen, (§ 3S8.) very numer- 
ously abound in this section of tbe alimentary canal, 
begin to act on the most perfectly assimilated portion of 
it, and to elaborate from it, their peculiar fluid called the 
chyle. (§ 153.) And, as the chyme moves slowly along 
the living tube, presenting its most perfectly assimilated 
portions to the lacteals of the successive parts, the diges- 
tive or chymifying process is at the same time, carried on 
by the vital energies and secretions of the tube: so that, 
while the lacteals in one part of the i.Uestine, are acting 
on the most perfectly assimilated portion of the chyme, 
the less perfectly assimilated portions are preparing for 
the lacteals of the succeeding part. In this manner, the 
two assimilating processes are carried on through the 


Whole length of the small intestine, or until all or nearly all 
of the nutritious matter of the food, is conve-ted into chyme 
and chyle. Some physiologists suppose these processes 
are continued in the large intestine, and that the ececum 
(§ 345.) acts as a kind of second stomach, to complete 
the digestion of the nutritious matter, which may be 
received from the small intestine: and it is undoubtedly 
true that, nutrition may, to some extent, be effected 
through the large intestine: (§388.) and that, when 
nutritious matter reaches this section of the alimentary 
canal both chymification and chylification to some extent, 
take place in it. The principal office of the large intes- 
tine however, is to receive, and dispose of the fecal or 
excrementitious matter of the food. But whether the 
process of chymification is ordinarily, continued into the 
large intestine or not, it is very certain that, the most 
perfect performance of the functions of the small intestine, 
including both chylnification and chylification, require* 
that, the stomach should not be employed at the same 
time: and hence, the reception of food or other substances, 
into the gastric cavity at improper times, and in fact, all 
dietetic irregularities, always, in some measure, disturb 
the functions of the small intestine. 

§ 457. It has generally been supposed that, the chyle 
is formed in the small intestine, by the mixture of the 
pancreatic juice and bile with the chyme, and that it is 
merely absorbed or sucked up, and conveyed to the thora- 
cic duct by the lacteals. (§ 38S.) This notion however, is 
entirely erroneous, and will probably, soon become obso- 
lete. There is not a particle of chyle formed in tha 
alimentary cavity. The only assimilating change effect- 
ed in that cavity, is, as we have seen, (§320.) that of 
chymification; and therefore, all the secretions, both of 

304 graham's lectures on the 

the alimentary canal and of its glandular appendages (§ 343.) 
which are in any manner immediately concerned in the 
great process of assimilation, are employed in the produc- 
tion of chyme. The pancreas, (§ 342.) in structure and 
appearance, is almost precisely like the salivary glands 
and there is no essential difference between the pure sali- 
vary, gastric, and pancreatic fluids, — the different degrees 
of acid and other qualities found in one or the other of 
these fluids, being wholly accidental; and owing to the 
physiological condition of the system, or to the peculiar 
state of particular organs. The pancreatic fluid therefore, 
is employed in perfecting the process of chymification, in 
the small intestine; and accordingly, the pancreas, as well 
as the salivary glands, is proportionably largest in those 
animals which subsist on food that requires the greatest 
quantity of solvent fluid for its chymification. 

§45S. In order to a clear and correct understanding 
of the use of the bile, in the economy of the alimentary 
cavity, it is necessary that we should take a comprehen- 
sive survey of most of the parts contained in the abdomen. 
1 . The alimentary canal presents a surface of about thir- 
teen square feet of mucous membrane: and this surface is 
everywhere covered by a close plexus of minute vessels 
and nerves which are employed in the performance of 
greatly diversified, and most important functions; (§ 331.) 
and of these vessels, the venous capillaries are by far the 
most numerous. 2. All the venous capillaries of this 
extended surface, together with those of the spleen, 
(§ 381.) of the pancreas, of the mesenteric glands, &c. 
(§ 386.) run into veins, which unite to form the great 
venous trunk of the portal system. (§ 3S1.) 3. The 
portal trunk, instead of proceeding to the heart or vena 
cava, (§ 378.) plunges into the liver, (§ 335. 341.) where 
it is ramified in precisely the manner of an artery, and 


holds the same relation to the biliary ducts, that the arte- 
ry does to the excretory ducts of other glands, (§ 384.) 
and forms by far the greatest part of the vascular substance 
of the organ: while the hepatic artery is evidently, de- 
signed for the nourishment of the tissues of the liver; for 
it is distributed on other vessels, giving rise there, to a 
very complex net-work. The finest ramifications how- 
ever, enter the vena porta; and the hepatic veins, the 
twigs of which are fewer and larger than those of the vena 
porta, and the hepatic artery, receive their blood, not from 
the artery, but from the vena porta. 4. According to 
the general law of the organic economy, (§ 393.) that as 
the degree of vital action in a part, so is the supply of 
arterial blood to that part, — a great quantity of arterial 
blood is sent to the stomach and intestines, during the 
performance of their general function of digestion; and a 
large proportion of the volume of this blcod, remaining 
after the tissues of the organs are nourished and their 
vital powers replenished, (§ 376.) and the secretions, 
exhalations, &c. are accomplished, is, by these process- 
es, converted into venous blood, and must be returned 
to the heart and lungs for innovation. 5. Not only the 
water, which is received into the stomach as drink, but 
the aqueous portions of the food, and many other sub- 
stances, — some of which, if permitted to pass into the 
g3neral circulation, would prove exceedingly deleterious 
to the system, — are absorbed, unchanged, and mingled 
with the venous blood just spoken of; and hence, this 
blood, so freighted with impurities, instead of being per- 
mitted to return to the heart and lungs in the ordinary- 
manner of the venous blood from the other parts of the 
body, is furnished with the peculiar apparatus of vessels 
which constitute tli3 portal system, (§ 381 .) and by which 
it is poured into the largest gland, and almost the largest 

306 graham's lectures on the 

organ of the whole body; and thus, all the venous blood 
from the tissues of the alimentary canal, with all its for- 
eign substances and impurities, is filtered through the 
liver, before it reaches the heart, and returns to the pul- 
monary, and general circulation: and it is entirely certain 
that, the liver in its normal state, and in the regular per- 
formance of its function, secretes the bile from the blood 
thus furnished by the portal veins; and not from the arte- 
rial blood; — the latter being necessary only to nourish the 
tissues of the organ, a'id sustain their functional powers, 
and supply the biliary ducts with mucus: — yet after 
having done all this, and become venous blood, it enters 
with the portal blood, into the venous plexus where the 
bile is secreted; and therefore, in the absence of supplies 
from the vena porta, bile can be secreted, to some extent, 
from the blood which enters the liver in the hepatic arte- 
ry. Again, we know that, when foreign substances are 
absorbed from the alimentary canal, if, by any means, they 
can be detected in the blood, they are readily found in 
the spleen, in the portal veins, and in the liver; even when 
no trace of them appears in the thoracic duct, (§ 3S6.) 
nor in the general circulation. Indeed it is nearly certain 
that, in the general health and perfect integrity of the 
system, there is a way, by the intercommunication of 
veins and lymphatics, (§ 3SG.) through which foreign and 
unassimilated substances, absorbed from the alimentary 
cavity, are carried off to the kidneys, lungs, skin, and 
other organs, and expelled from the vital domain, without 
being permitted to enter into the general circulation. But 
when deleterious substances are habitually received into 
the alimentary cavity, and taken up by the absorbents, 
the nicely discriminating organic sensibility of the organs, 
(§ 296.) is gradually depraved, and their functional integ- 
rity impaired, till they finally, suffer those substances to 


pass freely into the general circulation, and throughout 
the whole system. And hence, it is that when ardent 
spirit is only occasionally drunk, it can very rarely, if ever, 
be detected in the general circulation; even while it is 
strongly exhaled from the lungs: but when an individual be- 
comes an habitual drunkard, and continues his inebriation 
for several days in succession, the blood taken from the 
vein of the arm, is found strongly charged with alcohol. 

§ 459. Still further, in regard to the liver and its secre- 
tion; it is now well ascertained that the bile is not, in 
any manner, directly concerned in the formation of chyle, 
nor is it indirectly subservient to that end, any further 
than it may assist in the process of solution, preparatory 
to chymification: for both chyme and chyle are regularly 
produced without any agency of the bile. (§ 38S.) 
Moreover, it is well known that the liver is largely devel- 
oped, and performs its secretory function, to some ex- 
tent, before chymification and chylification take place 
in the system. Besides, if the liver had been designed 
to secrete a fluid essential to the assimilating processes of 
the alimentary cavity, and primarily intended for that 
use, it would be furnished with no sac or reservoir to 
receive and retain its secretion; but would, like the sali- 
vary glands, secrete its fluid only when the wants of the 
vital economy required it, and pour it directly into the 
cavity, where it was needed. But the secretion of the 
liver is continually going on; and, because the bile can- 
not be continually poured into the alimentary cavity, con- 
sistently with the general and particular regulations of 
the vital economy, the liver is furnished with a reservoir, 
(§311.) which receives its secretion, and retains it until 
an opportunity is afforded for its discharge into the ali- 
mentary cavity. 

§ 460. Now then, in view of all these facts, is it not 

308 graham's lectures on the 

fully evident, that the liver is a great filtering gland, 
designed to separate the impurities from the venous blood 
of the portal system, coming from the tissues of the ali- 
mentary canal ? But we have seen that, there is a laree 
quantity of this blood, and that the whole of it must 
filtrate, as it were, through the liver (§458.) before it 
reaches the heart: and furthermore, the quantity of blood 
in the portal system is not always the same. The arte- 
rial supply to the alimentary organs, being greatly 
increased during their performance of the function of 
digestion, (§ 393.) there is consequently and somewhat 
suddenly, a commensurate increase of the quantity of 
venous blood returning from those organs. At the same 
time, also, considerable quantities of aqueous fluid, are, 
or may be absorbed from the alimentary cavity, (§ 450.) 
and mingled with this blood in the portal veins, greatly 
and suddenly increasing its volume. It follows therefore, 
of necessity, either that, this heterogeneous fluid is, at 
times, driven through the liver with excessive rapidity, or 
that, the veins of the portal system, are at times, sud- 
denly and excessively distended, or that, there is connect- 
ed with the portal system, a vascular appendage, which 
se:ves as a reservoir, to reeeive a portion of this fluid, 
wl)3i its volurrn is increasad, and relain it till the liver, 
in the regular performance of its function, is prepared 
to act upon it. Precisely such a vascular appendage is 
found in the spleen. (§ 3S2.) The structure of that or- 
gan, its connexion with the portal system, the regular in- 
crease of its volume with the increase of venous blood 
returning from the tissues of the alimentary canal, its 
somewhat sudden enlargement when fluids are absorbed 
from the stomach, and the fact that, foreign substances 
absorbed from the stomach, are invariably to be found in 
its blood, if they are such as can be detected at all within 


the vital domain, and the fact also, that it can be extir- 
pated from the body without destroying life and appa- 
rently without detriment to health,— all concur to prove, 
most conclusively, that the spleen is nothing more nor 
less than such an appendage or reservoir to the portal 
system. And the whole organization, arrangement, and 
economy of the parts, clearly prove that, the portal sys- 
tem, the spleen, and the liver, constitute an apparatus of 
organs, designed to receive the venous blood from the 
tissues of the alimentary canal, mingled with whatever 
foreign substances may be absorbed from the alimentary 
cavity, and so far to purify that blood, as to prepare it 
to return to the heart and lungs, with safety to the vital 
domain. And this purification evidently does not con- 
sist exclusively in the secretion of bile; but it is nearly 
certain that this apparatus has a vascular communication 
with the kidneys and lungs, and perhaps also with other 
organs through which it disposes of foreign and unassimi- 
lated substances without suffering them to pass into the 
general circulation. (§ 453.) 

§ 461. The grand function of the liver, in the vital 
economy of the general system, therefore, is evidently 
that of a depurating or cleansing organ; and consequently, 
the bile is primarily, an excrementitious substance, thrown 
into the alimentary cavity, to be carried off with the fecal 
matter of the food; and hence, as a normal fact, it enters 
freely into the small intestine, only when that tube is 
distended with alimentary matter, and then, always mixes 
most intimately with the feed portions of that matter. 
It is nevertheless true, however, that, though the bile is 
secreted for the primary purpose of purifying the blood, 
and is therefore an excrementitious substance, yet by a 
wise provision, it is in some respects, made subservient 
to the chymifying or digestive process of the alimentary 

310 graHam's lectures on THE 

cavity. — How far cur benevolent Creator prospectively 
adapted the rang3 of capabilities in this portion of the 
organic economy, to the artificial and depraved habits of 
man, it is impossible to say; but it is certain that, those 
habits do extensively call into requisition the biliary secre- 
tion for purposes which are by no means compatible with 
the best interests of the body. 

§ 462. Not only the animal, but nearly all the vegeta- 
ble substances on which man subsists, contain more or 
less of fatty or oily matter: and it is now fully ascer- 
tained that, when this matter is introduced into the alimen- 
tary canal, the gastric juice has little or no effect on it, 
until it is in some measure changed by other means. 
When only the lean part of flesh-meat, or such vegetable 
substances as are best adapted to the alimentary wants of 
man, are received into the human stomach, the oily mat- 
ter is in so small a proportion, and so diffused in particles 
through the general mass, that the food is sufficiently 
digested in the gastric cavity, to afford portions of per- 
fect chyme for the action of the lacteals, and to fit it 
to enter the duodenum, with little or no change in the 
oily matter. Soon after it is received into this sec- 
tion of the alimentary canal, the bile is mixed with it, 
(§ 341.) and acts on the oily matter as an alkali, and con- 
verts into a saponaceous substance, which is immediately 
acted on by the solvent fluid from the pancreas (§457.) 
and other chymifying agents of the small intestine, (§455,) 
and with difficulty, converted into chyme. But when a 
considerable proportion of the food consists of animal 
pr vegetable fat or oil, it cannot be so far chymified in the 
stomach, by the secretions and actions of that organ, as 
to fit it to enter the small intestine safely, and without 
disturbance. Jn this emergency, the stomach is irritated 
by the presence of the unmanageable substance, and the 


biliary apparatus sympathizing (§ 297. 241.) with the 
stomach, in its irritations, pours the bile freely into the 
duodenum, where, instead of descending in the usual 
manner along the alimentary canal, (§341.) it is carried up, 
and admitted through the pyloric orifice, into the gastric 
cavity, to assist the stomach in the digestion of its con- 
tents, by converting the oily matter into a kind of soap, 
and thus rendering it soluble by the gastric juice. But 
the introduction of the bile into the stomach, though ren- 
dered necessary by such exigencies, is nevertheless, 
utterly incompatible with the best physiological conditicn, 
and tnosl perfect functional integrity of that organ. 

§ 453. Resides the oily matter of our aliment, there is 
frequently more acid in some kinds of food than is con- 
sists if with the welfare of the intestines; and this acid 
is, in some measure, neutralized by the alkaline prcper- 
ties of the bile, soon after the chyme enters the duo- 

§4*54. To act as an alkali on the oily matter raid the 
acids of the alimentary contents of the intestines, is 
therefore, the secondary, and often very important use 
of the bile; and in no other respect nor manner, is it 
concerned in the production of chyle. 

§ 4 33. The chyle, I have said, (§ 457.) has generally 
been supposed to be formed in the small intestine, end 
to be merely sucked up by the lacteals; and hence, in 
all works on physiology, these vessels aie said to ahcrb 
the chyle. But as there is not a particle cf chyle form- 
ed in the alimentary cavity, the function of the lacteals 
is rather that of secretion than cf absoipticn: for, instead 
of simply sucking up a substance already formed, they 
elaborate, as it were, an entirely new si,bs:ance frcm the 
most perfectly chymified portions of tie feed: and in this 
process, it is evident that there is a further decompesi- 

312 graham's lectures on the 

tion of the chymified matter, and new combinations and 
arrangements of its particles, so that, the chyle possesses 
a different constitutional nature from the chyme, and is 
essentially a different substance. (§ 140.) Indeed, this 
is a vital function of a mysterious and most wonderful 
character, which has completely foiled the ingenuity and 
beggared the calculations of the chemical physiologists; 
who, taking the results of the chemical analysis of dead 
animal matter for their data, (§ 147.) have endeavored 
to reason out the elementary laws of vital action, and 
organic combination. — In vain have they attempted to 
regulate the diet of man on chemical principles, (§ 151.) 
and insisted on the necessity for certain chemical prop- 
erties in human aliment, to sustain the vital economy. 
That economy has shown them that, it can triumph 
over the chemical affinities and ordinary laws of inorgan- 
ic matter, and bend them to its purposes at pleasure; — 
generating, and transmuting from one form to another, 
with utmost ease, the substances which human science 
calls elements; (§51.) and while the living organs retain 
their functional power and integrity, elaborating from 
every kind of aliment on which an animal can subsist, a 
chyle so nearly identical in its physical and chemical 
character, that the most accurate analytical chemists can 
scarcely detect the least appreciable. difference.* 

§ 466. The lacteals seem to possess the transmuting 

*The scientific world has been greatly misled on this subject by the 
inaccuracies of the chemists. We have been told by some, that chyle 
formed from vegetable food contains much more carbon and less nitro- 
gen than that formed from animal food: but it is now ascertained that 
all such statements are incorrect; and that if there be perfect health and 
functional integrity of the assimilating organs and of the system gener- 
ally, the chyle formed from vegetable, and that from animal matter, 
are so nearly identical in chemical composition that no appreciable 
difference can be detected by the most careful and accurate analysis. 


power of vitality in an eminent degree. The chyle 
which is found nearest to their secreting radicals or 
mouths, is of an entirely different nature from the chyme 
in the alimentary cavity. (§ 153.) It is a thin aqueous 
fluid, of a milky or pearly appearance, and is slightly 
albumenous; and when examined under the microscope, 
is found to contain the globules (§ 157.) peculiar to 
annualized matter, and which are supposed to be the 
elementary nuclei of all the solid forms of matter in 
the living body. The color of this fluid varies some- 
what, with the quality of the aliment; — being always 
more white in proportion as fatty or oily matter abounds 
in the food. — As the chyle flows along the lacteals, and 
passes through the mesenteric glands, (§ 336.) (figs. 46. 
and 49. d e) it is more and more assimilated to the 
blood: and, before it mingles with this latter fluid, it is 
apparently like it, in all respects, excepting color. 
(§ 154.) The proportion of its fibrin, or more correctly 
speaking, of its globules, to its other properties, even in 
a carnivorous animal accustomed to a mixed diet, is so 
nearly the same, when the food is exclusively vegetable, 
and when exclusively animal, that the difference is 
scarcely appreciable. But the chyle elaborated from 
purely vegetable food differs in one respect, most re- 
markably, from that formed from purely animal food. — 
When taken from its living organs the chyle elaborated 
from animal food putrefies in three or four days at long- 
est, while that, from the vegetable food, may be kept 
for several weeks without becoming putrid. This is an 
exceedingly important physiological fact, which does not 
seem to have been sufficiently appreciated by physiolo- 
gists. (§924). 

§ 467. In regard to the effect which the mesenteric 
glands have upon the chyle in its passage through them, 

314 Graham's lectures on the 

there has been some diversity of opinion, among physiol- 
ogists; and yet, when the structure and office of these 
glands are contemplated in connexion with the general 
and particular economy of the system, there appears to 
be little ground of doubt concerning them. They are as 
we have seen (§ 386.) little more than intricate pletfuses 
of minute vessels and nerves, having none of the pecu- 
liar characteristics of secreting organs, and are there- 
fore more properly called vascular ganglions, than glands. 
The vessels of these ganglions consist mostly of lacteals 
or lymphatics; and with these are associated numerous 
veins, which arise from the ganglions, and which in the 
ganglions, communicate with the lacteals or lymphatics, 
by opening, the one into the other. It can hardly be 
doubted therefore, that these ganglions are formed for the 
sake of establishing such communications between the 
lacteals or lymphatics and the veins, as will enable the 
former to expel into the latter, such foreign, or other 
substances, as they may contain, which cannot safely, or 
consistently with the greatest good of the system, be 
permitted to pass into the thoracic duct. The chyle, in 
passing through these ganglions, therefore, is probably 
no further affected than to be in some measure purified, 
by the removal of the foreign substances or crudities 
which it may contain. This opinion appears to be sup- 
ported, not only by the anatomical structure of these 
ganglions and the general physiological analogies of the 
vital economy, but also by all the physiological phenom- 
ena pertaining to them both in their healthy and in their 
morbid state. 

§ 46S. If the opinion of some anatomists, that, most 
or all the lacteals traverse a portion of the liver (§ 388.) 
before they reach the thoracic duct, be correct, it is 
probable that they do so for the purpose of still further 


communicating with venous capillaries, into which, they 
may discharge any remaining crudities or unassimilated 
substances contained in the chyle. 

§4G9. When the chyle reaches the thoracic duct, 
(§386.) into which it is conveyed by the lacteals, (fig. 49. 
b f g) it is in a very advanced state of assimilation to the 
blood ; being possessed of a considerable share of intrinsic 
vitality, (§203.) and largely abounding in elementary 
animal molecules. (§466.) Before leaving the thoracic 
duct, each of these minute annualized molecules, becomes 
invested, or surrounded by a thin pellicle or tunic, and 
being thus invested they arc prepared to enter into the great 
highway of the returning circulation, and after having un- 
dergone the process of the lungs, to become the globules 
of the blood. Sometimes also, the chyle is found to be 
slightly pink-colored before it leaves the thoracic duct. 
Being in all respects prepared for a passage to the 
lungs, in company with whatever impurities it may meet 
with in the venous blood, (§ 458.) the chyle is carried 
up by the thoracic duct, (fig. 48. D D) and emptied 
into the subclavian or large vein coming from the left arm 
at the point and in a manner which I have described. 
(§386.) Here it mingles with the venous blood with 
which it flows into the right auricle of the heart, (§ 368. 
369.) and thence passes into the ventricle, by which it is 
sent through the pulmonary arteries (§ 359. 369.) into 
the capillaries of the lungs, where the grand process of 
digestion is completed, which commences in the mouth, 
(§426.) and continues all along the living, alimentary 
and lacteal canals and tubes, till the chyle is poured into 
the veins; and then no further change takes place till it 
reaches the lungs. 

§ 470. The precise change which is effected in the 
chyle, while in the lungs, is not known; as it always goes 

316 graham's lectures on the 

to the lungs mingled with a large quantity of venous 
blood. It appears pretty certain however, that die chyle 
which goes to the lungs nearly colorless, there becomes 
red, and is more perfectly animalized, and more highly 
endowed with vitality. — I say more highly endowed with 
vitality, because it is evident that, the chyle is in some 
measure, a vital fluid, before it reaches the blood-ves- 
sels. (§469.) As the chyle and venous blood however, 
are mingled together, and are operated upon by the 
lungs, at the same time, I shall embrace the two at once, 
in my descriptions of the physiology of respiration and 

§ 471 . The blood, which is diffused throughout the body 
by the heart and arteries, for the nourishment of the whole 
system, is not all taken up and appropriated in its first 
distribution; but a considerable proportion of it, is re- 
turned through the veins and large venous trunk, to the 
right auricle of the heart. (§368. 369.) In conse- 
quence, however, both of the absence of properties 
which have been abstracted by the arterial capillaries, in 
the general function of nutrition, and of the presence of 
other properties which have been accumulated in the 
course of the circulation, the venous blood returns to the 
heart, dark and full of impurities, and wholly unfitted, in 
its condition, to supply the Wants of the system. Should 
it be forced, unchanged, into the general arterial circula- 
tion, the action of the circulating organs, would immedi- 
ately become extremely feeble and interrupted, — nutrition 
would cease, — animal sensibility and consciousness would 
be instantaneously abolished, — all the functions of organ- 
ic life would falter, and death would soon ensue. The 
venous blood therefore, must either be wholly thrown 
out of the system, as exerementitious matter, or it 
must, by some renovating, vital process of the organic 


economy, be restored to its original character as arterial 
blood. — Should it be eliminated as excrementitious mat- 
ter, the demand for alimentary supplies in the digestive 
organs, would be vastly increased. The benevolent 
Creator has therefore, established a special economy, by 
which the venous blood is purified and renovated, and 
perfectly restored to its original character; and fitted for 
supplying the wants of the system, equally as well as 
new-made blood: — and in doing this, He has, in a truly 
wonderful manner, combined vital function with physical 
and mechanical advantage and convenience. 

§ 472. As soon as the returning blood of the veins, is 
poured from the large venous trunks (§378.) into the 
right auricle of the heart, the walls of that cavity contract 
upon it, and press it down into the right ventricle, 
(§ 369.) from which, the tricuspid valve prevents its 
returning. No sooner does it enter this ventricle than 
its walls also, contract upon it, and send it through the 
pulmonary artery and its branches, into the capillary 
vessels of the lungs, which are ramified upon the air-cells 
as I have described. (§359.) While passing through 
these minute vessels, the chyle and venous blood under- 
go those important changes by which they both become 
arterial blood. In regard to these changes, physiologists 
have indulged in extensive speculations, some of which 
are exceedingly ingenious and interesting. But it 
would not be a profitable employment of time to review 
them on this occasion; and therefore, I shall only pre- 
sent the conclusions to which I have arrived, after 
careful examination of the whole subject — merely ob- 
serving, by the way, as a general remark, that with 
respect to respiration, as well as all the other vital 
functions of the body, many physiologists appear to. 

318 graham's lectures on the 

have erred by attempting to explain vital phenomena on 
the principles of inorganic chemistry. 

Respiration or the Function of the Lungs. 

§ 473. It is, doubtless, a matter of general knowledge, 
that, according to modern chemistry, the atmosphere is 
composed of several gases or kinds of air, and a consid- 
erable quantity of water in a state of vapor. — Pure air 
however, according to the statements of chemistry, 
consists of twenty parts of oxygen gas, and eighty parts 
of nitrogen or azote. (§99.) But by means of the 
chemical changes of composition and decomposition, 
which are continually going on in, nature, various gases 
are evolved and become more or less diffused through- 
out the atmosphere: — some of which, are too subtil to 
be detected by the closest scrutiny of the chemist; and 
others are so volatile and light that, they ascend to the 
upper regions of the atmosphere, where they probably 
undergo new changes, and enter into new 7 forms. Some 
however, enter into combinations near the earth's sur- 
face, and are of sufficient specific gravity, or weight to 
remain in the lower region of the atmosphere. — Of these, 
about one per cent, of carbonic acid gas, formed by a 
chemical combination of certain proportions of oxygen 
and carbon, is always, and universally present. 

§ 474. The oxygen and azote of the atmosphere, are 
not chemically combined, as in nitric acid; but intimate- 
ly mixed together; — so that, when a portion of the oxy- 
gen of a given volume of air, is consumed, the remaining 
oxygen diffuses itself equally, throughout the whole 
volume, as fast as the consumption takes place. This 
law of nature, established by a wise and benevolent Cre- 


ator, is of immense importance lo all living bodies; both 
animal and vegetable. 

§475. Now, in regard to the changes which take 
place in the lungs, there are certain phenomena or facts, 
attending respiration, on which physiologists have built 
their theories of the function. — In the first place, the 
venous blood goes from the heart to the lungs, with a 
dark purple color, and unfitted for the purposes of nutri- 
tion in the system; and returns from the lungs to the 
heart, .with a bright red color, and possessed of all the 
properties requisite for supplying the general wants of 
the vital economy. — In the next place, the air goes into 
the lungs composed of about seventy-nine or eighty parts 
of azote, nineteen or twenty parts of oxygen, and one 
per cent, of carbonic acid gas; and returns from the lungs, 
with about the same proportion of azote, five or six parts 
of oxygen, and thirteen or fourteen parts of carbonic acid 
gas. — In some way or other, therefore, the oxygen of 
the inspired air, sutlers a great diminution of volume in 
the lungs, and a volume of carbonic acid gas is produced 
equal, or nearly equal to the loss of oxygen. These facts 
led the chemists to conclude that, the venous blood, and 
perhaps the chyle also, give off a quantity of carbon in 
the lungs, and that a part of the oxygen of the inspired 
air, combines with the carbon, and forms the carbonic 
acid gas. And as it is a law in inorganic chemistry, that 
when oxygen combines with carbon in the formation of 
carbonic acid gas, heat is always produced, a most in- 
genious and beautiful theory of animal heat, has been 
built upon this view of the function of the lungs. 

§476. Mr. Crawford, who principally matured this 
theory, reasons thus: — When the venous blood gives off 
its carbon in the lungs, its capacity for caloric, or the 
substance of heat, is increased, — the carbon thus set free, 

320 graham's lectures on the 

instantly combines with a portion of the oxygen of the 
inspired air, and forms carbonic acid gas, by the process 
of which combination, heat is evolved, and that heat is 
instantly taken up by the increased capacity of the, now, 
arterial blood; and as this blood is diffused into every 
part of the system, and becomes changed into venous 
blood again, its capacity for caloric is diminished and the 
heat is given off. 

§ 477. This was making the changes effected on the 
blood and chyle in the lungs, and the production of ani- 
mal heat, purely, processes of inorganic chemistry. And 
perhaps, never was an erroneous theory more ingeniously 
constructed or more plausibly supported. But it has 
been fully ascertained, by numerous experiments and 
extensive investigation, that the oxygen of the inspired 
air does not combine with the carbon of the blood in 
the lungs to form the carbonic acid gas of the expired 
air; — for this gas continues to be expired from the lungs, 
when nothing but pure hydrogen is inhaled : — neither does 
the oxygen enter, in a free state, into the blood, to com- 
bine with carbon and form carbonic acid gas, and evolve 
heat, in the course of the circulation, as some have 
suggested. The whole chemical theory therefore, 
in regard to respiration and the production of animal 
heat, is without the support of any well established facts 
requiring such an explanation; and it is certainly con- 
trary to all correct notions of the vital operations, and 
the general physiological economy of the living body. 

§ 47S. The function of the lungs may be considered 
as twofold. As depurating or cleansing organs, they 
eliminate the impurities of the blood, in a manner cor- 
responding with the functions of the external skin and 
the mucous membrane generally, (§ 289.) and with all the 
excretory organs -of the body : — and as organs of nutri- 


tion they digest the air and convert a portion of it into 
the substance of the blood. 

§ 479. As depurating organs, the lungs, by a vital 
process, continually excrete from the venous blood, and 
perhaps also, from the chyle, in their capillary vessels, 
certain' substances, the elimination of which, is neces- 
sary, to prepare those fluids for the nutrient purposes of 
the system. — As soon as the excreted substance or sub- 
stances are thrown into the air-cells, (§353.) the mat- 
ter composing them, yields to the affinities of inorganic 
chemistry, and issues from the lungs, in the form of 
vapor, of carbonic acid gas, &c. — The vapor thrown 
from the lungs in this manner, sometimes amounts to 
nearly a quart of water, in twenty-four hours. — A por- 
tion of this, is supposed to come from the chyle. — The 
quantity of carbonic acid gas discharged from the lungs, in 
the twenty-four hours, is also very considerable. This 
gas is unfit for animal respiration; and when inhaled into 
the lungs, without a mixture of atmospheric air, it soon 
causes suffocation, asphyxia and death. This effect 
however, is owing to its negative, rather than to its posi- 
tive qualities; or to the absence of oxygen, by which 
alone, animal respiration is supported : for carbonic 
acid gas can be introduced freely into the stomach 
without having any of the effects of a poison upon the 
system. It is by the consumption of the oxygen of the 
air, and the generation of this gas, by the burning of 
charcoal in an open vessel in a tight room, that life is 
often destroyed: — and for the same reason, a large num- 
ber of people in a close or ill ventilated room, by their 
continued respiration and perspiration, render the air very 
impure and unwholesome: — and were it not for a wise 
and benevolent arrangement in the general economy of 
nature, in regard to this gas, all animals would soon be 

322 graham's lectures on the 

destroyed by it. (§ 143.) Being specifically heavier than 
atmospheric air, it sinks below the nostrils and mouth of 
the animal, during the little pause which follows expira- 
tion, and thus, is prevented from being drawn into the 
lungs again, in the succeeding act of inspiration. 
Descending towards the earth, it becomes diffused 
through the atmosphere, and during the day, it is taken 
up by the vegetable organs of nutrition, and decomposed, 
— the oxygen being set free and the carbon retained, and 
converted to vegetable substance. (§ 143.) During the 
night, or prevalence of darkness, however, plants, like ani- 
mals, are said to give off carbonic acid gas. But it is sup- 
posed that their consumption of it during the day, is suf- 
ficient to preserve the atmosphere in a state proper for 
animal respiration. 

§ 480. When the blood, in the capillary vessels of the 
lungs, is purified in the manner I have described, it is pre- 
pared to receive a portion of the digested and assimilated 
air. This is also, a purely vital process. The lungs are 
constantly receiving fresh supplies of aeriform aliment, 
which like the food received into the stomach, consists of 
certain adapted proportions of nutritious and innutritious 
substances: (§438.) and although expiration always, 
immediately follows inspiration, yet the lungs are never 
entirely exhausted; but, a considerable volume of air 
always remains in them, — much larger than that which 
is inhaled at an ordinary inspiration.* The air which 
we expire therefore, is probably very little, if any of 
it, that which was received by the immediately preced- 
ing inspiration. — But each successive volume of inspir- 
ed air probably displaces an equal volume of the retained 

* According to Menzies and Goodwill, five times the quantity of air 
remains in the lungs after ordinary expiration that is ordinarily expired 
or inspired, at any one time. 


air, which has been acted on by the digestive powers 
of the lungs; — and thus, something like an aerial cir- 
culation, or the gradual process of digestion in the ali- 
mentary cavity, takes place in these organs. 

§ 481. If the top of the intestinal tube in a dog, be 
tied, close to the pyloric orifice of the stomach, so that 
nothing can pass from the gastric cavity into the intestines, 
and a quantity of proper food, suitably masticated, be 
introduced into the stomach, that organ will convert the 
nutritious properties of the food into chyme, and its 
lacteal or lymphatic vessels will elaborate from that 
chyme, a quantity of chyle sufficient to answer the imme- 
diate demands of the vital economy, and the fecal parts 
of the food, together with some remaining chyme, will 
then be ejected or regurgitated from the stomach, through 
the meatpipe and mouth. In this manner, the animal 
may be sustained for six or eight weeks. (§388.) 
This, affords a good analogical. illustration of the diges- 
tive function of the lungs. — Having but one orifice, they 
throw off their excrementitious matter through the same 
aperture by which they receive their aeriform food. 

§ 4S2. Oxygen is undoubtedly, the nutrient property 
of the air, (§475.) and hence, it is said that it supports 
respiration : — (§ 92.) yet I contend that it never 
becomes incorporated with the blood as oxygen; (§ 112.) 
but it is digested or decomposed in the vital process by 
which it is converted into the substance of the blood, 
and becomes a constituent and identical part of it; and 
then it is not oxygen nor any thing else but blood. Nor 
is it, till the vitality of that fluid is destroyed, and its 
constitutional nature essentially changed, that oxygen or 
any other chemical element can be obtained from the 
perfectly healthy blood. The quantity of oxygen con- 
sumed by an individual is said to vary with the nature 

324 graham's lectures on the 

and degree of exercise, state of mind, degree of health, 
kind of food, temperature of the atmosphere, &c. Much 
more is consumed when the weather is cold, than when 
it is warm — more during digestion than when the stomach 
is empty;— and less is consumed when the food is vege- 
table than when it is animal, — less when the body is at rest 
than when in action — and less when the mind is calm 
than when it is disturbed. The average quantity how- 
ever, is supposed to be about two pounds and eight 
ounces, troy weight, per day. 

§ 4S3. That some of those forms of matter which are 
called chemical elements, are largely employed in supply- 
ing the w r ants of the vital -economy of the living body, 
and that some of them are better adapted to supply par- 
ticular wants, or produce particular effects in that econ- 
omy than others, is most evidently true; (139.) but this 
is far from proving that those forms pass unchanged 
through the vital processes into the vital results; and still 
less does it prove that the laws which govern those sub- 
stances as chemical elements, in the processes of inorganic 
chemistry, go with them into the vital domain to control 
the action of their affinities, and the modes of their com- 

§ 484. In suffering this two-fold function of the lungs, 
the chyle and dark-purple venous blood, become con- 
verted into bright-red arterial blood, fitted to supply all 
the wants of the vital economy. And the more com- 
pletely the function of the lungs is fulfilled, the more 
richly is the blood endowed with those delicate proper- 
ties which gratefully exhilarate every part where the liv- 
ing current flows, — healthfully invigorating all the organs, 
and giving increased elasticity to all the springs of action 
in the system, — causing every function to be more per- 
fectly performed, — imparting buoyancy to the animal 


spirits, (§305.) and delightfully exciting and facilitating 
the intellectual operations. 

Circulation, Quantity and Quality of the Blood. 

§ 485. The blood thus purified and renovated in the 
lungs, returns in the pulmonary veins to the heart, (§35<h 
369.) and is emptied into the upper cavity or auricle on 
the left side. The walls of this cavity instantly con- 
tract, and press the blood into the lower cavity or ven- 
tricle on the same side, whence it is prevented from 
returning to the auricle, by the mitral valve (§ 369.) which 
is pressed up and closes the opening between the two 
cavities. No sooner does the blood enter the left 
ventricle, than the thick muscular walls of th'.s cavity 
vigorously contract, and throw it into the aorta or great 
arterial trunk, (§ 369.) which being always full of blood, 
that which is thrown from the heart, presses on that 
which is in the arterial tube, and thus, by the constant 
action of the heart, the column of blood in the aorta is 
continually moved on, in the same manner that a column 
of water is raised in a common pump, till it flows through 
the arterial branches into all the capillary extremities, and 
is thus, with the assistance of arterial and capillary action, 
diffused over the whole body: (§ 374.) — imparting 
nourishment to the bones, cartilages, ligaments, tendons, 
membranes, muscles, and nerves, and supplying the 
various secretory organs with the blood from which they 
separate, or elaborate their lubricating and solvent and 
other fluids and substances. And, passing from the 
capillary extremities of the arteries to those of the veins, 
(§ 378.) the unappropriated blood, now rendered dark 
and impure, or unfitted for the purposes of nutrition, 
(§471.) is carried back to the heart and lungs, to be 

326 ' graham's lectures on the 

purified and renovated, in the manner I have described, 
(§ 479. 480.) and then thrown again into the general 

§ 486. The whole quantity of blood, in the body of an 
ordinary sized man, is from three to four gallons. Of 
this, from one fourth to one third is supposed to be con- 
tained in the arteries; and from two thirds to three fourths 
in the veins; (§ 379.) a large proportion of the whole, 
being in the arterial and venous capillary vessels. (§ 313.) 
In civic life, the ventricles of the heart in healthy adults, 
contract from seventy to seventy -five times in a minute; 
and it is supposed that the left ventricle throws into the 
aorta from one to two ounces of blood, at every contrac- 
tion; and that a quantity equal to the whole volume of 
blood in the body, passes through the heart as often as 
once in three minutes. In a new-born infant the heart 
contracts about one hundred and forty times in a minute: 
in the first year of life, about one hundred and twenty-four 
times ; — in the second year, one hundred and ten, and in 
the third year, ninety-six times in a minute. In the de- 
cline of life, the contraction of the heart diminishes in 
frequency, and in old age the pulse does not exceed sixty, 
in a minute. The rapidity of the circulation however, 
varies in different individuals according to different circum- 
stances, habits, &c. In some men the heart regularly 
contracts more than four thousand times in an hour: — in 
otheis, less than three thousand. This difference, as we 
shall see hereafter, (§919.) as a general fact, depends 
much on dietetic and other voluntary habits. 

§ 487. The blood, like the chyle and other substances 
of the body, has repeatedly been analyzed by the chemists, 
and we have been told the precise quantities of the muri- 
ate of soda and potash, of phosphate of lime, iron, sul- 
phur, &c. &c. contained in it; but without the least 

Science of human life. 327 

advantage to physiology, therapeutics or dietetics. On no 
One of these points, has the chemical analysis of the blood 
thrown the least ray of light:- — for it is not with a fluid 
composed on the principles of inorganic chemistry, of 
certain proportions of certain chemical elements, that the 
physiologist or the physician has to do; — but, with a liv- 
ing fluid, elaborated by vital processes, and subject to 
the laws and conditions of vitality. 

§ 488. The blood is most indubitably a living fluid, 
(§ 203.) and its vitality is susceptible of very considera- 
ble increase and diminution. That it has vitality in itself, 
has repeatedly been, and may easily be proved by con- 
clusive experiments: — still however, its intrinsic vitality 
cannot long be sustained out of the living vessel to which 
it belongs. Taken from the living vase, it loses its vitali- 
ty in a iew minutes; but if a quantity of blood be confined 
to a portion of a living and healthy artery, its vitality will 
be preserved as long as the healthy vitality of the artery 
remains. The preservation of the vitality of the blood 
therefore, depends on the living vessels in which it flows, 
or rather, on the nerves of organic life, which preside 
over the functions of those vessels: (§ 219.) and the de- 
gree of vitality in the blood, varies with the general con- 
dition of these nerves; — and the general condition of these 
nerves, depends very much on the character and condition 
of the blood. 

§ 489. If the quantity of blood in the system be exces- 
sive, there is a tendency to special or general congestion, 
inflammation and death. — On the other hand, if the quan- 
tity of blood be too far reduced, the functional energy of 
the nervous system is diminished, the conservative power 
of the blood-vessels is impaired, and the intrinsic vitality 
of the blood is" commensurately lessened. Hence, if a 
healthy robust man be copiously bled, and then, several 
smaller portions of blood be taken from him at short in- 

32S graham's lectures on the 

tervals, each successive portion will lose its vitality sooner 
than the preceding one. The specific gravity of the 
blood is little more than that of water: it has been affirmed 
however, " that the more perfect the organization of the 
blood, or the higher the degree of vitality it possesses, 
the greater appears to be its specific gravity." 

§ 490. By some physiologists, the blood is considered 
a homogeneous fluid; while others assert that it is a com- 
plicated compound of all the substances which compose 
the various solids and fluids of the living body: — the 
substances of the bones, cartilages, ligaments, tendons, 
membranes, muscles, nerves, bile, salivary, gastric, pan- 
creatic and other fluids, &c. &c. — ready formed, and all 
mixed up together in the blood, like the materials of the 
world in the fabled chaos: — and all that is further neces- 
sary for the arrangement of these materials, into the 
several structures and organs of the body, is to have the 
blood pass through certain strainers which are so con- 
structed and situated, as to separate out, and retain each 
material in its proper place. But this is obviously an 
expedient to cover human ignorance with the guise of 
science; a purely hypothetical attempt to explain the op- 
erations and results of the vital economy, upon chemical 
and mechanical principles. 

§491. While the blood is healthfully flowing in its 
living vessels, it is impossible for us to investigate its 
properties: — and it is equally impossible for us to know 
how soon our meddling with it may effect essential changes 
in its character. — The furthest therefore, that our knowl- 
edge of the living blood extends, is that, when first taken 
from the living and healthy vessels, and examined under 
a microscope, it is found to be composed of a fluid con- 
taining innumerable minute globules, which are surrounded 
by a kind of pellicle or tunic of coloring matter. (§ 469. 



484.) A substance called fibrin, is also said to be con- 
tained in the blood: but there is reason to believe that the 
fibrin is nothing more than an arrangement of the globules 
just named, divested of their coloring matter; and that 
the fibrin as such, is not to be found in the actively circu- 
lating blood. 

§ 492. When taken from the living vase and permitted 
to stand a short time, the blood coagulates; or a portion 
of it gathers into a thick clot, called the crassamentum, 
and the remaining portion is a thin, transparent fluid of a 
greenish and yellowish appearance and saltish taste,* and 
is called serum. — By washing the clot freely in water, 
its coloring matter is removed and it becomes white and 
has a fibrous appearance. — When putrefaction com- 
mences in the blood taken from the living body it attacks 
rather the coagulum than the serous portion, and this 
is true also of the chyle. 

§ 493. This is as far as the physiologist can push his 
analysis of the blood: — and this, taken in connexion 
with several important facts and phenomena which con- 
stantly take place in the living system, justifies the con- 
clusion that the blood is not a homogeneous fluid: — but 
naturally consists of innumerable globules or corpuscles 
of annualized matter, held in a fluid state by an aqueous 
menstruum, or diluent; and that the vitality of the blood 
wholly resides in the globules. 

§ 494. I have said (§ 450.) that water appears to pass 
from the stomach into the circulation with very little, if 

* It is by no means certain that the saltish taste of the serum of the 
blood is not wholly attributable to the dietetic use of salt. Dr. James, 
formerly of the United States army, informed me in the summer of 
1836, that the soldiers on the remote western frontiers, used no salt 
with their food when he was with them, and that he found their sensi- 
ble perspiration to be as free from the taste of salt as pure water. 

330 graham's lectures on the 

any change: — and it is a well known fact, that all the 
absorbent vessels of the body pour their"" contents of 
every kind, whether assimilated or not, — whether saluta- 
ry or deleterious, into the veins. — It is also, well known 
that large quantities of water, holding saline substances 
in solution, may be injected directly into the veins of 
living animals without destroying life. — Castor-oil and 
other medicinal substances may likewise be introduced in 
the same manner: — and alcohol and other poisonous sub- 
stances, pass unchanged from the stomach, and mingle 
with the blood. (§ 458.) Indeed, alcohol is sometimes 
present in the blood in so large a quantity and so concen- 
trated a form, as not only to be readily detected by the 
senses of smell and taste, but also to burn freely with a 
blue flame when touched by a lighted candle. When 
death is caused by lightning, it is well known that the 
blood remains in a fluid state incapable of coagulating: 
and in several forms of malignant, putrid fever, the 
corpuscles of the blood are broken down and lose the 
power of coagulating: (§492.) and in some instances, there 
are manifest evidences that putrefaction has commenced 
in the globules of the blood before the life of the body is 

§495. AH these facts seem to prove conclusively, that 
the blood cannot be a homogeneous fluid; — and that the 
serum of the blood cannot possess any degree of vitality: — 
and they leave little room to doubt that, what is called the 
coloring matter which surrounds the vitalized globules, 
(§491.) is intended to shield them from the pernicious 
properties or influences, of such foreign matters as may 
find their way into the blood-vessels, and become mixed 
with tlte scrum of the blood. While the annualized cor- 
puscles remain in the lacteals and other vessels, where, 
in the normal state of the system, only assimilated fluids 
are permitted to enter, they are not invested with those 


pellicles or coverings which become red in the Inngs, or 
at least, not until they reach the thoracic duct, (§ 469.) 
and are about to pass into the veins; and when they finally 
enter into the arrangements of organized structure, they 
are again divested of those tunics; — and hence it appears 
that they are only thus covered while travelling in the 
common highway of the circulation where they are con- 
tinually exposed to the contact and influence of foreign 
and unassimilated substances. 

§ 496. It is probably, from the serous portion of the 
blood mainly, that the excrementitious secretions and 
exhalations are made; and the impurities which sometimes 
accumulate in the blood from special or general derange- 
ment of function, are probably contained in this menstru- 
um: — and it is possible that they exert their deleterious 
influence first, on the nervous tissue of the blood-vessels, 
(§230.) and through them, on the nerves of organic life 
generally, producing irritation, and morbid affection, 
which involves the blood-vessels, and by them is commu- 
nicated to the living globules of the blood, and thus pro- 
ducing a general fever, which is modified in type and 
symptoms by various circumstances. — Hence, the intense 
thirst which usually attends a fever, and which may be 
an instinctive demand for water, to dl x ]*^ JL^ t ...flfensive 
serum and allay the preternatural heat and action: — and 
hence, also, the interesting fact, that pure, soft water, 
freely administered, is decidedly the most efficient febri- 
fuge in nature. The most violent fevers have been sub- 
dued by it with astonishing rapidity, when the ordinary 
means of medical practice, had proved utterly ineffectual. 
I confess, however, that this is mere speculation: but it 
seems to me to be corroborated by all known facts relat- 
ing to the subject. Yet I do not, by any means, suggest 
this, as a universal theory of fever: — but merely as one 
of the means by which fever is induced. 

332 graham's lectures on the 

Animal Heat. 

§ 497. The temperature of the human blood, I have 
said, (§ 129.) is, in a healthy state of the body, ordinarily 
about 98 degrees, Fall. It rises above, and falls below 
this point, some few degrees, in particular states of dis- 
ease:— but in the vigorous health of the body, the differ- 
ences in external temperature seem to have very little 
effect on it, — the blood being always about the same tem- 
perature, whether the individual is travelling upon the 
polar seas or under the meridian line. 

§ 498. Many attempts have been made to account for 
animal heat, on the principles of inorganic chemistry: — 
and no one of them, as I have already observed, (§476. 
477.) has been more ingeniously constructed, and more 
plausibly supported, than that of Mr. Crawford; and no 
one has been so generally received. And even yet, 
though the essential defects of Mr. Crawford's theory 
have been demonstrated, many physiologists seem dis- 
posed to cling to the notion that respiration is in some 
way or other, the immediate source of animal heat; be- 
cause there appears to be a close relation, say they, be- 
tween the degree of heat in the body and the quantity of 
oxygen consumed. But this reasoning appears to me to 
be very inconclusive. We have seen that the vital prop- 
erties which constitute the functional powers of all the 
tissues and organs in the body, are rapidly exhausted by 
action, and that they are replenished entirely, by the con- 
stant supply of fresh portions of arterial blood. (§ 376.) 
This supply being withheld, the muscles soon lose their 
susceptibility to the stimulus of motion, and their power 
of contractility: — the sensorial power of the nerves is 
immediately suspended, and the nervous power is very 
soon lost. (§471.) We have seen also, that the blood 


cannot be purified, renovated and fitted for the replenish- 
ment of the exhaustions of the system, without the func- 
tion of respiration; — and that, oxygen is essential to this 
function. (§4S2.) In this view of the subject, oxygen 
is certainly essential to the calorific function or the pro- 
duction of animal heat; — but not as a chemical element, 
depending on its chemical properties and combinations. 
(§ 139.) 

§499. Animal heat, like voluntary animal phospho- 
rescence and electricity, is most unquestionably a result of 
vital function, depending immediately on the vital prop- 
erties and functional powers of the nerves of organic life. 
(§228.) Whatever therefore, impairs the health of 
this system of nerves, diminishes the power of the living 
body to regulate its own temperature. Hence spirit 
drinkers, except when under the direct influence of the 
alcoholic stimulus, have less power to resist cold, in 
proportion as the health of their nervous system has been 
impaired by the poisou. Indigestion also, and all other 
difficulties of the stomach and intestinal tube, connected 
with the general condition of the nerves of organic life, 
diminish the vital powers of reaction against cold. — 
Whether the production of animal heat, therefore, be a 
process of secretion, or a function peculiar to itself, or 
nearly resembling that of animal phosphorescence and 
electricity, I do not pretend to say: — but I am entirely 
confident that it is purely a vital function, depending 
immediately on the vital properties and functional powers 
of the nerves of organic life. 

§ 500. The relaxing and debilitating effects of con- 
tinued heat, always diminish the power of the body to 
sustain sudden and severe cold. — They also diminish 
the powers of digestion ?nd general nutrition; and render 
the system more susceptible of injury from dietetic irreg- 


ularities and excesses: — and on the other hand, except 
in special cases of disease, continued cold weather, if 
it be not too intense, invigorates all the functional powers 
of the body; — increasing greatly, its ability to generate 
heat and maintain a uniform temperature; and commen- 
surately increasing the powers of digestion and general 
nutrition: but sudden and extreme cold depresses all the 
physiological powers of the system. (§229.) 

§ 501. Heat, I have said, (§ 129.) radiates from the 
living body in the same manner as it does from inorganic 
bodies: hence, as a general fact, the temperature of living 
bodies, is lower near the surface, than in the more central 
parts; but this, by no means, sustains the conjecture that 
the calorific function is peculiar to the internal parts. — 
It is probably not peculiar to any particular part of the 
system, but is as universal as the distribution of the nerves 
of organic life, and the blood-vessels. 

§ 502. The interests of the vital economy seem to 
require that the blood, under the vital control, should be 
easily preserved in a state of fluidity, and at the same 
time be capable of becoming solid with ease. And it 
appears from- numerous experiments, that the blood most 
readily coagulates at its natural temperature of ninety- 
eight degrees, Fah.; — and that any considerable variation 
from this point, impairs, and even destroys its coagulating 


§ 503. The blood, being distributed by the arteries, 
to every part of the body which requires nourishment, 
(§4S5.) is regularly appropriated according to the wants 
of the several parts: — and, with most undeviating accu- 
racy, and integrity, every structure is furnished with fresh 


supplies of its own proper substance. — The bones, carti- 
lages, ligaments, tendons, membranes, muscles and nerves, 
all continually receive new portions of homogeneous 
matter, elaborated by the vital processes from one and the 
same current of blood. — How these ultimate processes of 
assimilation or structure are effected is wholly unknown. 
— Various conjectures have been advanced on the subject, 
but they have begun and ended in guessing and hypothesis. 
I have already alluded to the notion (§ 490.) which attrib- 
utes to the ultimate vessels the office of strainers, that 
merely separate from the blood substances already formed 
in that common fluid: yet it is well known that not a 
trace of gelatin has ever been found in the blood, al- 
though this substance probably enters more extensively 
into the solid forms of matter, than any other in the body. 
Some physiologists as I have said (§ 375.) have imagined 
that there is a system of vessels called exhalants connect- 
ed with the capillary system, which perform the ultimate 
processes of nutrition. Other, and very eminent physi- 
ologists, suppose that the capillary extremities of the 
arteries, secrete and deposite in its proper place and 
manner, the substance of each particular structure in the 
body: and they assure us that, with the utmost powers 
of the microscope, they are unable to detect any differ- 
ence between the vessels which secrete one substance 
and those which secrete another; — that even those which 
supply the teeth and those which support the brain appear 
extremely alike; and yet the substances which they 
secrete from the same blood, are as extremely unlike as 
any two in nature. — The vessels which form and nourish 
the cartilages, ligaments, tendons, serous membrane, &c. 
are said to circulate only white blood, (§ 185.) and some 
have supposed it is because they are too small to circulate 
the red globules; but this is a mere conjecture, and the 

336 graham's lectures on the 

reason assigned, is of quite too mechanical a nature for a 
physiological explanation. 

§ 504. From the commencement of chymification, to 
the ultimate function of structure therefore, — and indeed, 
to the ultimate function of decomposition and elimination 
of the effete, or worn out matter of the body, all the 
changes are unquestionably effected by the processes of 
vital chemistry, which decompose the simplest known 
forms of matter, (§ 139.) and whose analytical and syn- 
thetical operations are governed by laws peculiar to vitality, 
and in direct opposition to the affinities of inorganic 
chemistry. (§121—123). 

§ 505. Besides supplying the ordinary wants of the 
body by the general function of nutrition, the vital econ- 
omy possesses the power, to a certain extent, of repairing 
the injuries which are done to it by physical violence. 
If a bone be broken, or a muscle or a nerve be wounded, 
and if the system be in a proper state of health, the vital 
economy immediately sets about healing the breach. 
The blood which flows from the wounded vessels, by a 
law of the economy, coagulates in the breach, for the 
double purpose of stanching the wound, and of forming 
a matrix for the regeneration of the parts. — Very soon, 
minute vessels shoot out from the Jiving parts, into the 
coagulum of the blood, and immediately commence their 
operations, and deposite bony matter where it is required 
to unite a fractured bone, and nervous substance to heal 
the wounded nerve, &c. But the vital economy seems 
not to possess the power of reproducing the true muscle, 
(§201.) and therefore when any fleshy part has been 
wounded, its breach is repaired by a gelatinous substance 
which gradually becomes hard, and sometimes assumes 
something of the fibrous appearance. It however, so 


perfectly unites the divided muscle as to restore its func- 
tional power. 

§ 506. In this wonderful process of healing, the little 

vessels employed in furnishing the matter for the several 

structures, seem to know precisely where to commence 

and where to end their labors: and unless disturbed and 

drive.i to irregular operations by irritating causes, they 

never leave their labor incomplete nor go beyond their 

proper bounds. — But under the constant abuses of the 

b 0( jy, — when the nerves of organic life are continually 

tortured and the vital economy generally disturbed by 

the unhealthy habits of the individual, not only in the 

process of healing a wounded part, but in the ordinary 

function of nutrition, substances will be misplaced or 

imperfectly elaborated, and diseased structure will be the 



§ 507. The common current of blood from which the 
solids of the body are elaborated, is also the source from 
which the different vessels (§ 331.) and follicles (§ 333.) 
and glands (§ 334.) exhale, or secrete (§ 330.) the 
aqueous fluid or vapor which everywhere perspires from 
the external skin, and from the mucous membrane of the 
alimentary cavity, (§ 339.) and of the lungs and nose 
and ears and eyes and every other part; and that which 
exhales from the serous membrane of the closed cavities 
(§ 178.) and moistens and lubricates the heart, (§ 368.) 
and all other organs and parts in the thorax and abdomen; 
(§ 175.) and that which moistens the brain (§ 272.) 
and the spinal marrow; and the glairy fluid which lubri- 
cates the joints (§ 185.) and the tendons, &c; (§ 195.) 
and the serous fluid of the proper cellular tissue; (§171.) 

338 graham's lectures on the 

and the adipose matter (§178.) of the same tissue; 
(§ 508.) and the marrow of the bones; (§ 179.) and the 
humors of the eye; (§409.) and the mucus (§333.) 
which everywhere lubricates the surface, and imbeds and 
protects the delicate vessels and nerves of the muccus 
membrane (§ 339.) and external skin; (§ 187.) and the 
oily matter which anoints the skin and hair; (§421.) and 
the wax of the ear; (§ 333.) and the tears (§ 413.) and 
the saliva (§ 340.) and the gastric juice (§ 332.) and the 
pancreatic fluid (§457.) and the bile (§461.) and the 
secretion of the kidneys and every other secreted and 
excreted fluid and substances of the body, which are 
subservient to the lubricating and solvent purposes of 
the vital economy, or are eliminated from the vital domain 
for the purposes of purification. But how these secre- 
tions are effected, we know as little as we do how the 
substances which enter into the solid structures are pro- 
duced. All that is known on the subject however, 
warrants the conclusion that the vital forces possess 
something like a transmuting power; (§ 62.) as they 
continually elaborate from a few kinds, — and even from 
a single article of food and the atmospheric air, all the 
different substances of the bod}-, with natures and prop- 
erties so diversified, so different; — and which, when 
analyzed by the chemist, afford many subsiances which 
cannot be accounted for from any thing contained in the 
blood, nor upon any known principles of chemical ana- 
lysis and combination. All these substances have been 
repeatedly analyzed and the chemical results precisely 
stated, but without any advantage to phvsiology or thera- 
peutics. (§431.) 

§ 503. Concerning the adipose matter or fat, which 
transudes from the arterial capillaries, or is, in some 
other manner, deposited in many parts of the cellular 


tissue^ (§ 178. 507.) different opinions have been enter- 
tained. It is ( on Billed in little cells which vary exceed- 
ingly in size, form and disposition, and which do not 
communicate with each other. It is said to be ahcays 
found in the cellular tissue of the orbits of the eyes, the 
soles of the feet, the pulp of the fingers and that of the 
toes; and to he frequently found, and sometimes in great 
abundance, in the cellular tissue under the skin, and in 
that which surrounds the heart, kidneys, &c; while in the 
eyelids, the interior of the skull, of the brain, the eyes, 
ears, ncs2, lungs, intestinal canal, glands and some other 
pans, it is never found, except as the effect of disease. 
The quantity of this oily matter or fat in the human body 
varies greatly in different individuals and in the same 
individual at different times. (§ 178) In some instances 
it constitutes a very considerable proportion of the bulk 
and weight of the whole body. — Various opinions have 
been entertained in regard to the use of this substance in 
the animal organic economy. In the orbits of the eyes, 
the soles of the feet, and other parts where it is most 
invariably found, it is supposed to serve the purpose of 
elastic cushions, giving facility to movements, diminishing 
the effect of pressure, &c. Under the skin, it is sup- 
posed, as a non-conductor of heat, to assist in preserv- 
ing the natural temperature of the body, and protecting 
the vital domain from the effects of severe cold: ar.d 
generally, it is thought to be subservient in some meas- 
ure, to the lubrication of the solids: and also to prevent 
excessive sensibility. It is moreover, a prevailing opin- 
ion among physiologists, that the deposition of this mat- 
ter in the cellular tissue, is a provision of nature against 
the emergencies of famine. They suppose that, when 
by any means, the food of an animal is long cut off, as 
in the case of hibernation or torpor through the winter, 

340 graham's lectures on the 

the vital economy lays hold of its adipose deposites, as 
bees do upon their honey, and reconverts it into blood 
for the nourishment of the system: and this is inferred from 
the fact that, the bear and other hibernating animals, on 
entering into the torpid state for the winter, have gen- 
erally a considerable quantity of fat in their bodies, and 
that when they come out in the spring, it is all gone, and 
they are exceedingly lean. But this does not appear to 
be conclusive. If an ox be stall-fed till he becomes very 
fat, and then put to hard labor for several months, he 
will lose a large proportion of his fat, even though he be 
as highly fed during the whole time of his labor as he was 
m the stall, and receive all the food that he will eat, and 
all that his vital economy can healthfully dispose of. 
But in this case, it will hardly be said that the adipose 
matter is re-absorbed for the nourishment of the system. — 
Again, if the fat be designed for the nourishment of the 
body during protracted fasts, &c, then if a very fat man, 
in the enjoyment of what is ordinarily considered good 
health, and a lean man in good health, be shut up togeth- 
er, and condemned to die of starvation, the fat man ought 
to diminish in weight much more slowly, and to live 
considerably longer than the lean man: but directly the 
contrary of this is true. The lean man will lose in 
weight much more slowly, and live several days longer 
than the fat man, in spite of all the nourishment which 
the latter may derive from his adipose deposites. 

§ 509. That the adipose matter of perfectly healthy 
bodies, like the marrow of the bones, (§ 179.) is sub- 
servient to some important purposes in the organic econ- 
omy, cannot be doubted: but it is not necessary to infer 
from any known facts, relating to it, that its extensive 
accumulation in the cellular tissue, is a provision of 
nature for nutrient purposes, nor that it is employed for 


such purposes during long fasts. — We have seen (§ 314.) 
that in the grand operations of the vital economy, the 
two great processes of composition and decomposition are 
continually going on: — new matter is constantly added 
by the general function of nutrition, to every structure 
and substance of the body, and old matter is constantly 
withdrawn and eliminated by the general function of 
absorption and excretion, from every structure and sub- 
stance. — In a perfectly healthy state of the system, while 
the functional power and integrity of all the organs is 
preserved, a nice equilibrium is always maintained be- 
tween the two great processes. But if frcm excessive 
alimentation, want of exercise, or any other cause, this 
equilibrium be destroyed, and the function of nutrition 
becomes excessive, disease in some form or other must 
speedily result, or the vital economy must have some 
extraordinary mode of relief. More nutritious matter is 
received into the vital domain, than the wants of the vital 
economy demand, and more than its powers can regularly 
dispose of. None of the regular tissues or structures of 
the system can incorporate it, and it cannot be eliminated 
from the vital domain as fast as it is received. In this 
exigency it must be disposed of in the safest manner 
possible, as a temporary resource. The cellular tissue 
we have seen, (§158.) is the lowest order of animal 
structure; — the lowest in vital endowment and functional 
character: and of all the forms of this general structure, 
that in which the adipose matter is deposited (§ 178.) is 
the lowest species. In the cells of this loose tissue 
which is simply employed as a kind of web to connect 
other and more important tissues and parts, (§ 171.) the 
vital economy therefore, may with greatest safety, in 
its particular emergencies, deposite lor a time, whatev- 
er substances it is obliged to dispose of in the most expe* 

342 graham's lectures on the 

ditious and convenient manner, and which it is not able 
to eliminate from the vital domain: for, in these cells, 
such substances are at the greatest remove from any im- 
portant vital power or function, that they can be, within 
the domain: and hence it is that such substances are 
deposited in this tissue: and some of the substances 
which are deposited here, and in some cases retained for 
years, are of the most deleterious character, as we shall 
see hereafter. (§ 1275.) Is it not obvious therefore, 
that the adipose matter which results from excessive 
alimentation, is temporarily deposited in the cellular tissue 
as a necessary expedient of the vital economy, in its 
emergency ? 

§ 510. It is a general law of the vital economy, that 
when by any means, the general function of decomposi- 
tion exceeds that of composition or nutrition, the decom- 
posing absorbents always first lay hold of, and remove 
those substances which are of least use to the economy: 
and hence all morbid accumulations, such as wens, 
tumors, abscesses, &c. are rapidly diminished and often 
wholly removed, under severe and protracted abstinence 
and fasting. When by an excess of the general function 
of nutrition, a considerable quantity of adipose matter 
has been deposited in the cellular tissue therefore, if 
active exercise be considerably increased, or the quantity 
of food be considerably diminished, the decomposing and 
eliminating organs of the system, by all that their func- 
tions are relatively increased upon that of nutrition, will 
be employed in first removing the adipose matter, in 
order to restore the system to the most perfectly healthy 

§511. The accumulation of adipose matter in the 
human body therefore, always evinces more or less of 
diseased action in some of the organs concerned in the 


general function of nutrition, and can only be carried to 
a very limited extent without degenerating into serious 
disease, — terminating either in morbid obesity, dropsy, 
or apoplexy, or reacting with violence on some of the 
organs belonging to the digestive apparatus. Hence the 
notorious fact, that almost every animal which is fatted 
and killed for human food, is actually in a state of disease 
when butchered. — It is extremely difficult — indeed near- 
ly impossible to find, in the butchers' markets of any of 
our cities, a perfectly healthy liver from a fatted animal: 
and it is by no means an uncommon thing for fatted hogs 
to die of disease when just about to be killed for the 

Size of the Body, Determinate. 

§ 512. But since, by the general function of nutrition, 
new matter is continually supplied to every structure and 
substance in the body, from the commencement of our 
existence till death closes our temporal career, why do 
not our bodies continue to increase in size as long as we 
live? Why should they grow from the infantile form to 
the stature of manhood, and then entirely cease to grow, 
and remain, with slight variations of bulk, at a fixed size 
through life? — The general economy of nutrition by 
which the body attains to the ordinary stature of man, so 
far as we can perceive, continues its operations through 
life. What then defines the proportions of our bodies 
and fixes the limits of our growth? Human science can 
make no determinate reply to these interrogations: — and 
in his attempts to answer them, the physiologist can only 
reason from the general laws peculiar to living bodies, 
and from the phenomena, facts and analogies which indi- 
cate the laws that govern the development and determine 

344 graham's lectures on the 

the form and size of all organized bodies. My own 
views on this interesting point will be presented in a 
subsequent lecture. Be it remembered however, that 
the difficulty in the case, is not in accounting for the 
matter which is constantly supplied to the body by the 
function of nutrition. Because as we have just seen, 
(§ 509.) there is in all living bodies, an economy of 
decomposition and elimination, as extensive as that of 
nutrition. But this economy is in active operation du- 
ring the whole period of growth as well as in subsequent 
life: — and the question is, why, under the active and 
simultaneous operations of the composing and decompos- 
ing processes, the body should grow to a certain size, 
and then entirely cease to grow, and the two processes, 
as a general fact, balance each other ever after?— or if 
they do not, disease in some form or other, necessarily 
results. — In some rare instances it is true, the human 
body continues to increase in bulk, till it becomes an 
enormous and shapeless mass, as in the case of Daniel 
Lambert and others. But these are always cases of 
disease, and the subject seldom reaches the middle period 
of life. Indeed, as I have said, (§511.) all obesity or 
corpulence is a species of disease, and denotes a want of 
integrity in some of the functions of the system. 


§ 513. The general process of decomposition is sup- 
posed to be effected principally, by the lymphatics proper, 
(§ 3S7. 3S8.) which as we have seen, (§ 3S5.) arise 
from every surface and portion of the body; so that 
there is scarcely a particle of matter belonging to the 
whole organic system, which is not within the reach of 
their action; — and they are supposed to be continually 


acting on every structure and substance in the body where 
the function of nutrition is performed, — gradually decom- 
posing and resolving to a limpid fluid called the lymph', 
the hardest bones as well as the softest structures and 
still less consistent secretions and fluids of the system. 
And thus, by the constant and regular operations of the 
nutritive organs on the one hand, and the lymphatics on 
the other, every structure in the living body, is continually 
and simultaneously undergoing the processes of composi- 
tion and decomposition, of renovation and decay. (§ 314. 
509.) Particle by particle of new matter is constantly 
added to every structure, from the fluid blood; and at 
the same time, particle by particle of old matter, is con- 
stantly absorbed from every structure and converted to 
the fluid lymph. So that, while the organic constitution, 
and physiological identity of every structure and of the 
whole system, remain permanent through life, a continual 
change is taking place in the particles of matter of which 
our bodies are composed: and, according to the estimate 
of some physiologists, an entire change of all the matter 
in our bodies is completed as often as once in seven 
years. (§314.) 

§ 514. Besides thus regularly absorbing the substance 
of the various structures, secretions, exhalations, &c. 
within the precincts of the vital domain, the lymphatics 
are also supposed to absorb the pus and other kinds of 
matter, which disease may cause to form or accumulate 
in any part of the system. If fluids accumulate in any of 
the closed cavities, these vessels are supposed to be the 
organs by which they are taken up and removed; and it 
is likewise supposed by some, that they are the organs 
which in the lungs and external skin, absorb the infectious 
and pestilential properties of an impure atmosphere, and 

346 Graham's lectures on the 

other foreign matters. But this last opinion may be 
considered questionable. (§451. 462.) 

§ 515. The lymph has been regarded by some physiol- 
ogists, as wholly excrementitious matter, which is returned 
to the circulation only for the purpose of being presented 
to the excretory organs, which eliminate the impurities 
of the blood. Others consider it as of a very different 
character and destiny. They say that the lymphatics, 
like the lacteals, (§465.) possess an assimilating power 
to a high degree; and that all the substances which they 
absorb of every description, are converted into a fluid 
closely resembling the chyle, (§469.) but of a more 
refined and sublimated quality; and that it is returned to 
the pulmonary and general circulation, to be appropriated 
to the most delicate and elevated purposes of nutrition. 
The correctness of this opinion however is somewhat 
doubtful. The lymphatics evidently possess an assimila- 
ting power (§451.) by which they convert many, if not 
all of the substances that they absorb, into a nearly homo- 
geneous fluid, which mingles with the chyle in the 
thoracic duct, and passes with it into the blood-vessels. 
(§ 4S6.) And when supplies of food in the alimentary 
canal are exceedingly small or entirely cut off for a con- 
siderable time, the lymphatics unquestionably become 
much more active than usual, and prey upon the adipose 
and other substances of the body, (§510.) forming a 
lymph which may have many of the characteristics of the 
chyle and blood, and which may, to some extent, in such 
an emergency, serve the purposes of nutrition. But in 
the ordinary and undisturbed operations of the vital econ- 
omy, when the alimentary organs are duly supplied with 
food, it is probable that the lymph, formed from the 
decomposed matter of the body, is mainly if not entirely 
an excrementitious substance. 



§516. The impurities which are continually accumu- 
lating in the blood, by the return of the worn-out matter 
of the body, to the circulation, and by the absorption of 
such substances as are unfitted for the wants of the system, 
are incessantly eliminated or expelled from the vital 
domain by the excretory organs constituted for the pur- 
pose. The lungs, as we have seen, (§ 479.) are largely 
concerned in this work of purification. The liver (§ 460.) 
is associated in the same general function: — and the kid- 
neys excrete a large proportion of the effete matter and 
other impurities of the blood. The mucous membrane 
of the alimentary canal also, participates to some extent 
in this office: — but the external skin (§331.) probably 
exceeds any other organ, and it has been supposed to 
exceed all the other depurating organs in the system, in 
the quantity of matter which it eliminates. It is in seme 
measure a respiratory organ, corresponding in function 
with the lungs. (§479.) Like these, it continually con- 
sumes oxygen, and eliminates carbonic acid gas, and 
imperceptible vapor; and at times pours forth a fiocd of 
sensible perspiration. Foreign and unassimilated sub- 
stances absorbed from the alimentary cavity are largely 
eliminated from the vital domain by the skin; and the 
decomposed matter of the body is continually passing off 
through this portion of the great limiting membrane. 
(§330.) Since the commencement of the seventeenth 
century the opinion has generally prevailed, which was 
advanced by Sar.ctorius, that the skin ultimately throws 
off, in the form of insensible perspiration, something 
more than one half of all the matter which enters the vita] 
domain. Some modern physiologists have questioned 
the accuracy of this estimate; but it is admitted en all 

348 graham's lectures on the 

hands, that the skin is one of the most important depura- 
ting organs of the system and that its healthy condition 
and functional integrity are of immense importance to 
human health and comfort. 

§517. The depurating organs, as I have stated, 
(§239.) reciprocate with each other in function, to 
a considerable extent, even in the healthy state of the 
body, and in a diseased condition, vicarious function is 
often attempted. Copious perspiration diminishes tbe 
secretion of the kidneys, and on the other hand, a sup- 
pression of the cutaneous function, generally increases 
that of the kidneys. The skin and lungs reciprocate in 
the same manner. Excessive exhalations and excretions 
of the alimentary canal also frequently result from a sup- 
pression of the function of the skin, and, by whatever 
cause induced, they are always attended with cutaneous 
depression. But the welfare of the particular parts as 
well as of the whole system, requires that each organ 
should uniformly and vigorously perform the full measure 
of its own duty; because frequent excesses arising from 
an undue determination of fluids to any one part, lead to 
debility of the part, and often result in impaired function, 
imperfect assimilation, local disease, and general injury 
and death. In this manner, sudden suppressions of the 
functions of the skin often lead to diabetes and pulmonary 
consumption, by causing undue determinations to the 
kidneys, and lungs, and inducing inflammation and perma- 
nent disease in those organs. The liver also sutlers 
from all want of integrity in the other depurating organs; 
and its derangements compel the skin and indeed, the 
whole system to make an effort to throw off the matter 
which it should have eliminated. Still more excessively 
morbid and extravagant attempts St vicarious function 
take place when the mammary glands and other organs 


endeavor to perform the duties of the kidneys. But 
cases of this kind are very rare. Frequent enough 
however, to show the wonderful resources of the vital 
economy in extreme emergencies, and also to demonstrate 
the great importance of health and integrity in each and 
every organ. 

Wear, Expenditure, and Disease. 

§ 518. In the most healthful and correct performance 
of their functions, the several organs of the body neces- 
sarily suffer some waste of substance as well as expendi- 
ture of functional power. (§ 376.) But while the gen- 
eral economy of nutrition is properly sustained, the 
replenishment keeps pace with the exhaustion. By 
excesses and irregularities however, and every other 
means by which the constitutional laws and functional 
relations of the several organs are violated, not only is the 
system as a whole, made to suffer, but the particular 
organs are often made the seats of local disease and 

§ 519. By painful experience, most of the human family 
who have numbered twenty years, know that the teeth 
may become the seats of distressing disease and decay: — 
the gums may become softened and flaccid and ulcerous 
and otherwise diseased. The tongue and other parts in 
the mouth, are subject to disease in a variety of forms. 
The salivary fluid and mucous secretions may be rendered 
extremely acrid and irritating to the parts over which 
they pass: — the salivary glands may become inflamed, 
enlarged, indurated and cancerous: — the nose, fauces, 
windpipe, meatpipe and other surrounding parts are 
liable to many distressing forms of disease. The lungs are 
subject to inflammation, ulceration and general decay; — 

350 Graham's lectures on the 

the heart and blood-vessels are liable to enlargements, 
ruptures, ossification and a variety of other forms of 
disease. Derangement of function, formation of calculi, 
chronic inflammation, change of structure, decay of sub- 
stance &c. &c. may take place in the liver, kidneys and 
other glands. In short, there is not an organ, nor tissue, 
nor substance in the whole vital domain, which may not 
become diseased and prove the source of death to the 
body. The bones (§ 185.) may become dry and brittle: 
or they may ulcerate or mortify. The cartilages, (§ 185.) 
ligaments (§ 188.) and tendons (§ 195.) may also become 
dry and brittle, and lose their elasticity and ossify or be 
destroyed: and the nerves and muscles may suffer a 
change of structure and decay of substance. 

§ 520. There are many external and foreign causes as 
well as internal disturbances," by which these diseases are 
induced; and which act upon the system at different 
points, and in various modes. But the alimentary cavity, 
is the principal avenue through which the causes of dis- 
ease commit their depredations on the vital domain: — the 
stomach is .peculiarly a centre of irritation and starting 
point of disease to the whole body. It is continually lia- 
ble to be disturbed and irritated in itself, and always 
communicates its irritations more or less extensively and 
powerfully to other organs. (§ 297. 298.) The means 
by which its own function is disturbed and impaired, and 
itself made the seat of disease, are very numerous. Sub- 
stances of every kind, which are not adapted to the wants 
of the vital economy, if introduced into the stomach, 
become the causes of a degree of irritation, always pro- 
portionate to the offensiveness of their character. Ali- 
mentary substances which are in themselves proper, if 
introduced into the stomach in an improper quantity, or 
condition, an improper time, or without suitable "mas- 


tication and insalivation, (§426.) necessarily become the 
causes of irritation, leading to local and general disease. 
The passions of every kind, and especially the painful and 
the violent, — all mental excitements, and severe mental 
application, (§ 304.) more or less affect the condition and 
function of the stomach, and often most injuriously; and 
if frequently repeated or long continued, they debilitate 
the organ and develop in it, a high degree of morbid 
irritability; — sometimes inducing inflammation, chronic 
and acute. In short, whatever is unfriendly to the vital 
properties, or impairs the nervous power and muscular 
contractility of the stomach, (§ 454.) or disturbs its func- 
tion and deteriorates its functional results, always leads 
to disease of the organ itself, and tends to induce morbid 
irritability and sympathy, inflammation, thickening of its 
coats, softening and change of structure in the muscular 
and nervous tissues, scirrhus, cancer, &c. &c And it 
is a remarkable fact that, when the integrity of the organic 
sensibilities and sympathies of the parts is greatly impaired 
or destroyed, by improper dietetic habits, (§296.) as is 
universally the case in civic life, irritations, functional 
derangements, and disease, even of the most fatal charac- 
ter, may be induced in the stomach and intestines, and 
slowly progress for years, and finally terminate in death, 
without ever being suspected by the subject, or affording 
such symptoms as lead to a detection of the evil, by the 

§ 521. But the stomach does not suffer alone in its 
irritations and diseases. All irritations disturb the func- 
tions of the stomach, and more or less impair the quality 
of the chyme, and this leads ultimately, to a deterioration 
of all the fluids and solids of the body. Besides, in all 
those irritations which affect the general condition of the 
stomach, the heart, lungs, liver and all the other organs 

352 graham's lectures, etc. 

of the system sympathize, (§ 297. 298.) and by this 
sympathetic irritation, their functions are also disturbed 
and impaired. And, if, in consequence of hereditary 
peculiarities, or some other cause, the lungs, liver, or 
any other organ is particularly predisposed to disease, 
these sympathetic irritations always tend to develop it; 
and when developed, the local disease either reacts upon 
the stomach, and becomes a source of continual irritation 
to that organ, or serves as a kind of outlet, or concentra- 
ting point, by which the gastric irritations are relieved, 
and the stomach sustained in health, at the expense of 
the diseased part, which suffers from every error of diet, — 
from every gastric irritation however induced. Thus, 
continued gastric irritation often produces spinal irritation, 
which reacts with tremendous energy on the stomach, — 
in some instances completely destroying its functional 
power: — and on the other hand, disease may be induced 
in the lungs, liver and other organs and parts, by gastric 
irritation, and carried forward to the destruction of the 
affected part, and to the extinction of life, continually 
exasperated by the originating cause, while the stomach 
itself, seems all the while to be in excellent health, and 
the unfortunate sufferer is confident that nothing which 
he eats or drinks, or swallows as medicine, does him any 
injury, because "it sits well on his stomach." In this 
manner, every organ and part of the human body, in its 
turn, may fall a sacrifice to the abuses and irritations of 
the alimentary canal; — and, with very few exceptions, 
fevers of every type, and acute and chronic disease of 
every form, may spring from the same source. With 
what propriety then, did the Psalmist exclaim, " I am 
fearfully and wonderfully made!" 


Nature of the soul — Immortality of man — Connexion of the soul with 
organized matter — The laws that govern it — Brain the seat of intel- 
lectual and moral faculties — Views of Gall and Spurzheim concern- 
ing the organs of the brain and the mental and moral faculties — Ele- 
ments of intellectual and moral character in man and the diversities 
of manifestations — These phrenologists attribute to cerebral organiza- 
tion — The cerebral organs enumerated, described and located — Tem- 
perament and physiognomy — Combinations of faculties in forming 
character — Plurality of cerebral organs proved by the mental relief 
from a change of subjects — By monomania — The laws of mind in 
sanity and insanity — Its organic instruments — Special senses — Sight 
the source of imagery — The philosophy of vision — Mental percep- 
tion — Mental conception — Reflection — Perceptions of the different 
senses not reproduced with equal ease and vividness — Associations 
of perception and reflection — Associations of reflection, conception, 
and propensities and sentiments — Mental effects of intoxicating liquors 
in religion, &c. — The Mind cannot perceive two distinct objects at 
once — nor perceive and conceive distinctly at the same time — Perfect 
sleep — Dreams, how produced and affected — Conceptions of the poet, 
&c. — Distinct conception takes away the power of perception at the 
same instant — Dreams, and conceptions while awake, realities to the 
mind while they last — Nervous irritation, how it produces mania — All 
the feelings and affections by whatever produced enter into the mental 
operations and affect the judgment — hence according to the feeling 
so the conclusions — As we feel on a subject, so is its importance to 
our mind — Wine, music, beauty — their effects — Strict mental sanity 
defined — Insanity, what, and how caused — Mind always true to its 
laws — How far this favors phrenology — Does local disease of the 
brain cause insanity? — Insanity from irritation in the domain of organ- 

354 graham's lectures on the 

ic life— Phrenology makes the brain too exclusive— Intellectual and 
Moral Physiology the true science. 

§ 522. We have seen that all matter — if not essentially 
a single element, (§72. 87.) consists of a very few 
primordial substances: — (§ 73.) and that the same matter 
is common to all material forms, — (§49.) both inorganic 
and organic: — (§112. 118.) that the various forms of 
matter, are produced by the different arrangements of the 
same primordial atoms: — (§ 80. 106.) and therefore, that 
the nature of a thing, depends, in no degree, on the 
matter of which it is formed; but entirely on the consti- 
tutional laws of arrangement: — (§ 140.) and these laws, 
it is contended, do not arise from the intrinsic properties 
of matter; (§ 83.) but are imparted to it, by an omnipo- 
tent, and infinitely wise and benevolent Creator: (§89.) 
and from the constitutional nature of things thus establish- 
ed, all their properties and powers arise. (§ 140.) — We 
have seen also, that, the most primitive laws and proper- 
ties, imparted to matter, are those which belong to 
inorganic forms: (§ 106.) and that the laws and affinities 
of inorganic matter, are directly adverse to the laws and 
affinities peculiar to organic matter: (§ 107.) and con- 
sequently the arrangement of matter in the formation of 
organized bodies, is the effect of the operation of consti- 
tutional laws which suspend and overcome the laws 
and affinities of inorganic matter: (§110.) and hence the 
constitutional laws and properties peculiar to living organ- 
ized bodies, cannot arise from inorganic matter, nor result 
from the operations of any of the laws or affinities of 
inorganic matter: and therefore the constitutional laws 
and properties, peculiar to organized bodies, were superin- 
duced, and established in the permanent economy of 
organic vitality, by an omnipotent and infinitely wise and 
benevolent Creator. (§ S9.) 


§ 523. The same train of reasoning is equally applicable 
to the differences existing between vegetable and animal 
forms of matter; (§ 114.) and the properties and powers 
peculiar to animal bodies: — and also, to the differences 
existing between the cellular, muscular and nervous 
tissues of animal bodies; and the properties and powers 
peculiar to each of these tissues. (§ 312.) 

§ 524. It is not, therefore, in the nature of things 
possible, that vitality, nor any of the properties peculiar 
to the living tissues, should spring from the intrinsic 
properties or powers of matter; (§ 10S.) nor from any 
organic arrangement of matter: — but, on the contrary, 
the organic arrangement of matter, is always necessarily 
the effect of vital action: — and the properties and powers, 
with which each tissue is endowed as a living substance, 
arise, not from the arranged matter of the tissue, but from 
the vitality residing in the tissue. — The vitality of the 
different tissues, differs in degree; and there is reason to 
believe that, the vitality of the muscular tissue is of a 
higher order than that of the cellular tissue; and that, the 
vitality of the nervous tissue is of a higher order than that 
of the muscular; — and that, the vitality of some parts of 
the nervous tissue, is of a higher order than that of other 
parts: — and it is possible that the vitality of some portions 
of the brain is of a higher order than that of others. 

§ 525. But when we speak of the laws and properties 
of matter, what do we mean? (§88.) We talk of 
the law of gravity; — and so far as the size, weight, dis- 
tance, velocity, &c. of attracting bodies are concerned, 
we can reason with mathematical accuracy and precision: 
— but with all t is. extent and accuracy of knowledge in 
regard to the fixed order of the phenomena of gravity, 
what do we know of the essence of that power which we 
call the attraction of gravitation? — Absolutely nothing! — 

356 graham's lectures on the 

The chemist also speaks of the molecular affinities of 
matter, and the laws which govern the combinations of 
his experimental elements: yet he is totally ignorant of 
that power or property which he calls affinity; and the 
fixed order of whose phenomena, he calls law. — The 
astronomer and the chemist therefore, cannot from their 
knowledge of the essences of things, either affirm or 
deny that the power ivhich produces all the physical and 
chemical plienomena of matter, is the omnific and omnip- 
otent spirit of God. 

§ 526. We use the word law then, in regard to matter, 
as an abstract term, to signify a fixed order of phenom- 
ena that are produced by a power of which we are entirely 
ignorant. Hence all evidences of design and of final 
causes, go, without any draw-back, to prove — either that 
an omnipotent and intelligent first Cause continually 
exerts a direct and controlling influence on matter; — or 
that, the essential nature of each form of matter (§ 140.) 
which governs all the phenomena of its particular form, 
and which is the substratum of all the properties and 
powers of its form, was originally established, and is 
continually sustained in a permanent constitutional econ- 
omy, by the Creator. 

§ 527. While therefore, we cannot, from our know- 
ledge of things, affirm what the essence of life is, (§41.) we 
know, as certainly as we know any thing concerning mat- 
ter, that it could not spring from any of the properties 
or powers of inorganic matter: — and that its relation to 
the organization of matter is of necessity in the nature of 
things, and has ever been, since the first establishment 
of the vital economy in connexion with organized matter, 
that of a.cause and not of an effect. (§ 108.) Hence it 
may be boldly affirmed, that no man possesses knowledge 
which justifies the assertion, that the power which governs 


the organization of the nervous system of animal bodies, 
and constitutes the substratum of all its properties and 
powers, is not a substance essentially different from 
matter. Nor does any man know any thing contrary to 
the idea, that this substance may differ in different orders 
of animals. 

§ 528. Purely as physiologists then, with all the light 
of science around us, we can, with at least as much 
philosophical propriety, affirm that, the substratum of the 
sensorial power of the human brain, (§ 524.) is a spiritual 
substance, as any one can affirm the contrary: — and the 
truth of our affirmation, is infinitely more probable, than it 
is that, mind and moral feeling are results of organized 
matter. It is frankly confessed however, that, as mere 
physiologists, we can offer no evidence of the future 
existence of man. — This, of necessity, in the nature of 
things, is purely a doctrine of revelation. — As metaphy- 
sicians, we may reason very forcibly to such a conclusion 
from what we regard as moral evidence, and general 
analogy, and from the intellectual and moral fitness of 
man for such an existence: but, apart from the sacred 
Scriptures, we have no decisive proof that man will exist 
in a future state. — But while it is true that physiology 
affords no evidence of man's future existence, it is also 
true that, it affords no proof to the contrary: — and the 
important fact that, all the bearings of the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ, on the present state of human existence, 
accord most perfectly in all respects with the physiologi- 
cal laws of our nature, almost amounts to a demonstration 
that the doctrines of that Gospel concerning our future 
existence are true. (§ 613.) 

§ 529. Since therefore, physiology cannot prove that, 
the sensorial power of the human brain is a property of 
matter, nor that it is a result of the peculiar organization 


of the matter of the brain; and since all that we know of 
the laws and properties of matter, is adverse to such a 
notion; and since the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which 
comes to us with the strongest possible evidence of its 
divine authenticity, explicitly affirms the existence of a 
soul in man which shall exist beyond the grave eternally, 
it may be boldly affirmed that the human soul is an 
immaterial substance, and that it constitutes the substratum 
of the sensorial power of the human brain; and no man 
can show from the demonstrations or facts of science 
that this opinion is not strictly philosophical; and the 
most probable of any. 

§ 530. It is entirely certain however, that, whatever 
be the substratum of the sensorial power of the human 
brain, it resides in and act's through the organized matter of 
the nervous substance — during our present state of exist- 
ence, precisely the same as if it were merely a property 
of that vitalized matter; and all its powers and manifesta- 
tions are subject to precisely the same laws as govern 
the powers and manifestations of vitality. — This truth 
is of immense importance to every human being! In- 
deed! it lies at the very foundation of intellectual and 
moral and religious philosophy, and is of vital interest 
to human happiness in every point of view. — Instead 
of neglecting it therefore, as a matter unworthy of our 
consideration, or of regarding it as of secondary im- 
portance, or of combating it with vain assertions and 
denunciations as heretical, we should diligently study to 
undestand it, in all its depth and breadth and bearings and 

§ 531. Should it be asserted that this doctrine proves 
the immortality of the lower orders of animals equally 
with that of man :— I reply, 1 . that, according to the views 
which I have advanced, there may be an essential difference 


between the substratum of the sensorial power of the 
nervous system of the lower animals, and that of the sen- 
sorial power in the human brain: (§ 527.) 2. that, the 
immortality of man, or his future existence, does not 
depend on the nature of his soul, but on the will and 
power of the Creator. The human soul, equally with the 
human body, depends on God for its existence; and if we 
exist in a future state, it will be purely because God 
wills it, and not because the human soul is self-existent. 
Therefore unless it can be shown that God has revealed 
the doctrine of the immortality of the lower animals as 
explicitly and fully as he has that of man, then my reason- 
ing does not in any manner go to prove the immortality of 
the lower orders of animals. But it is not the business 
of physiology to prove the immortality of the human 
soul, and it is not possible for it to prove the contrary. 

§ 532. In regard to the particular seat of the human 
soul, different opinions have prevailed at different periods 
of time; and amongst different nations: — but it would 
neither be interesting nor instructing, to review, on the 
present occasion, the various theories and speculations 
which have been advanced on this subject. The human 
brain is unquestionably the more immediate and special 
organism of the mental and moral powers: — and the 
grand question before the world at present, is whether 
the mind acts in and through the brain, as a single organ, 
or as a system of organs. This question has indeed, 
been agitated to some extent, ever since the time of 
Aristotle; and probably, ever since the human mind first 
began to speculate on the relations between mind and 
body: — but it has been made a more prominent object of 
contemplation and inquiry, in our own day, by the theory 
which has been advanced by Dr. Gall and advocated and 
improved by Dr. Spurzheim and others. (§274 — 279.) 

360 graham's lectures on the 

§ 533. Without stopping to review the progress of 
this theory from its origin to the present moment, I shall 
proceed to present a brief abstract of it, as it last came 
from the hands of Dr. Spurzheim. — According to this 
theory, as I have already stated, (§ 267. 268.) the brain 
is composed of diverging and converging fibres of medul- 
lary substance, which are so arranged as to form in con- 
nexion with the pulpy or gray matter of the brain, a sys- 
tem of duplex organs: and each pair of these organs are 
a specific and distinct faculty. (§ 275.) 

§ 534. The organs are divided, according to their 
functional character, into Propensities, Sentiments and 
Intellectual Faculties. The Propensities are situated in 
the lower and back part of the skull, and are all common to 
man and the lower animals. The Sentiments occu- 
py the upper portion of the skull, and are subdivided into 
those which are common to man and the lower animals; 
and those which are peculiar to man. The Intellectual 
Faculties belong to the fore part of the skull, or (he fore- 
head, and are subdivided into perceptive and reflective 

§ 535. This Theory claims to be purely inductive, 
and to be founded on the correspondence between the 
conformation of the brain, as evinced by the shape of 
the skull, and the mental and moral character: — and is 
called Phrenology or the doctrine of the mind. 

§ 536. It is a matter of common knowledge that, the 
greatest diversity of propensity, sentiment and habits of 
thinking and of acting, are continually manifested in socie- 
ty, by different individuals; and that this diversity maybe 
traced through all stages of civilization and all periods 
of life; and often exists in a very remarkable degree even 
in small families. — Some individuals have an intense, 
instinctive love of life, and always contemplate death— 


or the extinction of life, with the deepest dread and even 
horror: and this too, without any regard to the pain of 
dying: — while others seldom think of death, and have so 
little regard for life, that, were it not for their dread 
of the pain of dying; or, of what may follow the death 
of the body, they would, on slight occasions of disap- 
pointment and vexation, throw life away. — Some indi- 
viduals are habitually given to the excesses of the table, 
and regard the indulgences of the palate, as the highest 
and almost the exclusive enjoyments of life: — indeed, 
they often seem not to have the power to refrain from 
these indulgences, even when they know that disease and 
suffering must inevitably be the consequences of their 
yielding: — while others seem to eat and drink from a 
mere sense of duty, to sustain the body; and never run 
into excesses. — Some are extremely tender and gentle 
and merciful in all their actions and are habitually care- 
ful to destroy nothing that can be of use to themselves or to 
any one : — while others even from early childhood, evince 
a disposition to destroy almost every thing they can lay 
their hands on, and delight in killing flies and other ani- 
mals, and often become murderers of their own species. — 
Some manifest an eager desire to enter into wedlock as 
early in life as possible, while others coldly prefer celi- 
bacy, and spend their life, from choice, in single bles- 
sedness. — Some discover the greatest fondness for little 
children, and seem to prefer their society to any other. 
- — In some mothers the maternal feeling is supreme, and 
all the energies of their soul seem to yearn over their 
own sweet babes: — by day and by night — in health and 
in sickness' — in prosperity and adversity — in honor and 
ignominy, they cling to them, and hang over them in 
maternal devotedness, and are never weary of supplying 

362 graham's lectures on the 

their wants and administering to their comforts. As the 
bosom of waters over which " the viewless winds" 
flap their hasty wings, so is the face of such a mother 
when her children are acting or suffering before her, — 
every emotion which they manifest, and almost every 
movement which they make, ripple her countenance into 
expressions of pleasurable or painful sympathy. Nor 
are her sympathies confined to her own children, — she 
has always a smile for the playfulness of other babes and 
a tear for their sufferings. Such mothers even in the 
midst of penury and privation, consider their children 
their greatest earthly blessings, and never regard them 
as burdens under any circumstances. Others have the 
greatest aversion to little children, and can never bear 
their presence but with disquietude and annoyance. — If 
such are mothers, they perform the maternal duties in a 
cold and heartless manner, and are continually complain- 
ing of the toil and vexation which their children cause 
them; and are frequently heard to say how much better 
off they should be without children. Such mothers, 
in whom there is a want of the proper restraint of moral 
sentiment or of education, will abandon, and in some 
cases, even destroy their own babes. — Some persons are 
extremely fond of society and are strongly inclined to 
form the attachments of friendship and to become attach- 
ed to particular things, which they are accustomed to: 
while others seem to be isolated beings, — shut up within 
themselves and having no sympathies, either for men or 
things. — Some are powerfully attached to their home and 
native place and country and are zealous and devoted 
patriots: while othe-s are equally at home in all places 
and have no love for any country. — Some are peaceable 
and meek, and timid and cowardly: while others are 


bold and full of courage and perhaps contentious and 
turbulent and quarrelsome, and always ready to fight on 
the slightest provocation. — Some are excessively open 
and frank and communicative — blab everything they know 
and hear and think; and never can keep a secret, nor 
practice any concealment nor hypocrisy: they seem 
indeed not to be able to conceal their sentiments even 
when they know their own welfare requires it; while 
others are always secret even in regard to trifles, and 
wrap every thing in concealment and mystery: — they 
never speak without first considering what they are going 
to say, and whether it can in any manner be turned to 
their disadvantage: — they seldom give a prompt and direct 
answer to an interrogation; but reply in an indirect, 
ambiguous or evasive manner: and are frequently sly, 
crafty, hypocritical and knavish, and given to falsehood. — 
Some are excessively prodigal and improvident, and have 
no disposition to acquire any thing: while others have a 
strong desire to possess every thing they see; and are 
prompted to the most diligent and indefatigable efforts to 
acquire great possessions, and perhaps are extremely 
parsimonious and covetous, and avaricious; and in some 
cases the propensity is so great that it leads to habitual 
theft. — Some seem to possess no aptitude to construct 
even the simplest kinds of machinery: while others 
evince an irresistible propensity to be engaged in some 
kind of mechanical employment, and with astonishing 
aptitude, soon become masters of the most difficult 
mechanical arts; inventing and constructing the most 
complex pieces of mechanism as if the whole were a 
result of peculiar intuition. 

§ 537. Some individuals are extremely incautious 
and rash: while others are very circumspect and exces- 
sively cautious. — Some are perfectly reckless of the 

3G4 graham's lectures on the 

opinions of others, and have no desire for approbation 
and distinction: — while others are extremely sensitive to 
the slightest expression of disapprobation, and feel a 
continual and powerful desire to be the objects of atten- 
tion and admiration and praise ; and have a deep 
and fervent longing for renown and glory, and im- 
mortality of fame. — Some have little self-confidence 
and self-respect; and always throw themselves upon a 
level with those in whose company they may happen to 
be: while others feel a great degree of self-confidence, — 
self-esteem and self-importance: — they speak as if they 
thought themselves the very oracles of wisdom — are 
exceedingly reserved and dignified and perhaps conse- 
quential in their manners; and often haughty, and con- 
tumelious. — Some seem to live only for self: all their 
actions and all their plans of life, begin and end in self. 
They feel no interest in the common welfare of mankind, 
and no sympathy for any cause which aims at the improve- 
ment of the condition of their species: while others 
appear to lose self in their extended feelings and plans 
and efforts of benevolence and philanthropy. Their 
feelings and their thoughts are continually occupied in 
devising and maturing, and carrying into operation, 
schemes of benevolence by which mankind may be made 
better and happier. They are kind hearted, and affec- 
tionate and merciful to every human being; and indeed to 
every thing that feels. 

§ 538. Some feel great respect for superiors; and 
great deference for traditionary authority: and the most 
solemn reverence for the supreme Being: — while others 
seem to want these feelings entirely. — Some possess 
great firmness and decision and perseverance, and reso- 
luteness; and stubborness and obstinacy; and love to 
exercise authority and to command: while others are 


unstable and yielding and submissive and obedient. — Some 
are exceedingly conscientious in every tiling they do, say, 
and think; and always desire to be strictly just in all their 
dealings; and if they think they have wronged or in any 
manner done the slightest injustice to any one, they can- 
not rest till they have set the matter right: — while others 
seem almost totally destitute of concientiousness, and 
even pride themselves in their dishonesty and fraud and 
knavery; aud boast of their success in over-reaching, 
deception and cheating. — Some are full of hope and 
expectation of good things to come: while others are 
inclined to despondency and despair. — Some are ex- 
tremely credulous, and strongly inclined to believe every 
thing that is associated with mystery and with the mar- 
vellous and supernatural: while others are sceptical in 
every thing, — wholly reject the marvellous — deny the 
existence of a God, and almost doubt their own exist- 
ence. — Some are exceedingly ardent and enthusiastic, 
and have the most vivid and vigorous imaginations, and 
behold every thing with poetic vision and feelings; and 
to them, the earth is a paradise or a purgatory and the 
human species are angels or devils: — while others are 
always the same, unvarying, cold, matter-of-fact beings, 
who estimate things by weight and measure; and regard 
the visions of the poet as the hallucinations of a diseased 
brain, and his enthusiasm, as the excitement of insanity. — 
Some are always full of mirth, and facetiousness, and 
wit, and jest, and drollery, and satire: — while others are 
habitually sober, and serious and saturnine. — Some have 
a powerful inclination and wonderful aptitude, to imitate 
and mimic the actions, gestures, voice, expressions, &c. 
of men and animals; while others have neither the dis- 
position nor the power to imitate any thing. 

§ 539. Some are remarkable for noticing with great 

366 graham's lectures on the 

minuteness and accuracy, individual persons and things, 
and all the peculiar habits, qualities and appearances of 
individuals: while others pay no attention to such things. — 
Some have a great aptitude to notice and judge of forms, 
figures, and features, and remember countenances with 
great accuracy: while others are very deficient in this 
power. — Some are remarkable for the power of meas- 
uring distance, size, &c by the eye. Others will judge 
of weight with astonishing accuracy: and others have 
the nicest perception of colors in all the delicate varieties 
of hues and tints: while others seem almost totally des- 
titute of these powers. — Some persons are remarkable 
for their power of perceiving and remembering the rela- 
tive situations and localities of external things and all the 
features of a landscape; and are exceedingly fond of 
travelling and of seeing new places and countries: while 
others are the very opposite of this in all respects. — Some 
are very notable for their great precision and systematic 
arrangement and order in all they do and say: — every thing 
belonging to them is kept in the most precise order: while 
others are as notably careless, and slovenly and destitute 
of method and order. — Some are remarkable for their 
power of numeration; and will run through processes 
and arrive at results in numbers with a promptitude and 
accuracy which seem absolutely supernaturnal: while 
others are scarcely able to carry through a simple pro- 
cess in arithme ic. — Some are astonishingly accurate and 
minute in their knowledge of particular events; and 
seem to have the whole history of the world in detail, 
stereotyped upon their brains: while others are utterly 
incapable of remembering particular events; and can 
only retain general impressions and fundamental prin- 
ciples. — Some will remember dates and the successive 
periods of events with wonderful accuracy: — while others 


find it impossible, even with the utmost labor, to impress 
dates upon their memory. — Some seem natural instru- 
ments of music; and have only to open their mouths and 
the air issues from their lungs in the most enchanting 
tones and strains of melody: — while others seem inca- 
pable of learning a tune, or even of distinguishing one 
tone from another. — Some have a wonderful affluence 
and facility of language: — they commit language to 
memory, and learn new languages with great ease; and 
are never at a loss for words: — they remember names 
with astonishing accuracy: and in some instances, they 
are capable of talking or speaking for hours with gram- 
matical accuracy, and even with rhetorical richness of 
language, while at the same time they seem to be like 
mere hand-organs, uttering well-ordered sounds without 
a thought. 

§ 540. Some are remarkable for their very acute and 
discriminating power of comparison: while others are 
very deficient in this faculty. — Some have an irresistible 
inclination and a wonderful power to search and find out 
the causes of things; and are always in pursuit of first 
principles; and delight in philosophic investigations; and 
are exceedingly fond of original pursuits and enterprises 
and discoveries: while others are in all respects the very 
opposite of this; and prefer to trudge along the common 
beaten track of the world; taking things as they come, 
in the shape of separate facts and individuals, and never 
give themselves a care, or entertain a thought about 
causes and general principles and relations. 

§ 541. Now, according to phrenology, the elements of 
all these differences and diversities, are constitutionally 
innate; and depend entirely on cerebral organization, 
development, and activity: — each of the propensities 
and sentiments and intellectual faculties, being prominent 

368 graham's lectures on the 

and vigorous, or obscure and feeble, according to the size 
and activity of that particular part of the brain which is 
its special organ: and the relative size of the several 
organs being evinced by the general proportions of the 
head and the particular elevations or depressions of the 
outer surface of the skull. 

§ 542. By carefully examining the heads of a great num- 
ber of living, and the skulls of many dead persons and ani- 
mals, and comparing their general and particular propor- 
tions with the mental and moral character and peculiar 
propensities and habits of the individual, Dr. Gall succeed- 
ed, as he believed, inascertaining the particular location of 
twenty-seven pairs of the cerebral organs. (§275.) — 
Following the same inductive method, as he affirms, Dr. 
Spurzheim has added several pairs to the number de- 
scribed by Dr. Gall, and has left us the description and 
location of thirty -five pairs of these organs; and has 
named two other pairs,* the localities of which, are not 
yet fully ascertained. (§ 279.) 

§ 543. Thus then, according to this theory of Phre- 
nology, we are furnished with thirty-seven pairs of cerebral 
organs, which are the seats of all the animal instincts, and 
of all the moral and intellectual powers that we possess; 
and which are precisely adapted to the condition and 
wants of the body and to the great purposes of individ- 
ual and social life. Each pair of organs perform a sep- 
arate and distinct function: — and "the essential nature 
of each primary power," says Dr. Spurzheim, " is one 
and invariable, and no organ can produce two species of 

Propensities common to Man and the loiccr Animals. 

§544. If we enumerate the cerebral organs in the 
most philosophical order, (§536.) we shall begin with— 
* Yitativeness and Alinientiveness. 



1st, Vitativeness; or the organ of the instinctive desire of 
life. This is supposed to he situated at the base of the 
brain, where the middle and posterior lobes meet. — To 
sustain life, we have — 2d, the .-— nm 

organ of Alimentiveness; or 
the instinct that prompts us to 
take food. This is supposed 
to be situated before the ear, 
immediately under acquisi- 
tiveness and before destruc- 
tiveness. — To supply the ali- 
mentary and other wants of 
the individual, — to demolish 

and destroy whatever is hurtful W * 

to the body or endangers its existence and well-being, 
or whatever the good of the individual requires, we have 
— 3d, the organ of Destructiveness; or the propensity to 
destroy; or more properly, the propensity to satisfy, or ex- 
ecute the demands of the other instincts, at all events, even 
though it require the demo- 
lition and destruction of other 
things, or whatever stands 
in the way, or opposes: and 
therefore, when unduly de- 
veloped and active, or great- 
ly depraved by bad educa- 
tion and habits, and unbal- 
anced by counteracting mor- 
al organs, it produces cru- 
elty, ferociousness, and mur- 
der. This is situated immediately above the ear. — 
To secure the multiplication and perpetuity of the spe- 
cies, we have — 4th, the organ of Amativeness, which 
consists of the two lobes of the little brain; situated at 


graham's lectures on the 

the base of the skull, behind, — over the back of the 
neck. — For the protection and cherishing of offspring, 
We have — 5th, the organ of Philoprogenitiveness; or the 
instinctive love of children, — the maternal feeling. This 
is situated at the back part of the head immediately above 
amativeness. — To secure the connexions and institutions 
of domestic and social life, we have — 6th, the organ of 
Adhesiveness, — or the instinctive propensity to form 
ittachments to things and friendships with persons. This 
is situated at the side of philoprogenitiveness, and a little 
above. — And to secure the more extended interests of do- 
mestic and social life, we have 
— 7th, the organ of Inhab- 
itiveness, or the instinctive 
love of home, of native place, 
and country; — giving rise to 
r patriotism, &c. This is situ- 
ated immediately above phi- 
loprogenitiveness. — For the 
defence of self and family and 
home and country, we have 
— 8th, the organ of Combat- 
itveness — or instinctive cour- 
age, or the propensity to over- 
come obstructions and difficulties — to resist opposition,re- 
pel attacks, &c. ; and when excessive and unbalanced, pro- 
duces contentiousness, quarrelsomeness, &c. This is 
situated between philoprogenitiveness and the ear. — Still 
further to secure the interests of self and family and 
country, and to counteract and defeat superior force by 
management or stratagem, we have — 9th, the organ of 
Secretiveness; — or the instinctive propensity to secrecy, 
concealment, slyness, cunning, craftiness, &c. This 
is situated a little above distructiveness. — To provide 
for the wants of self and family, and to sustain the 


institutions of society; we have — 10th, the organ of 
Acquisitiveness; or the instinctive propensity to acquire 
property, or whatever may be useful to us, or minister 
to our wants, — the desire to possess — disposition to be 
provident, &c; and when excessive and unbalanced, 
produces parsimony, covetousncss, avarice and theft. 
This is situated before and a little above secretiveness. — 
For the protection and comfort and convenience of self 
and family and society, we have — 1 1th, the organ of Con- 
structiveness, which leads to the building of houses — the 
construction of all kinds of machinery, &c. This is 
situatedat the temples above the cheek bones. 

Sentiments common to J\lan and the lower Animals. 

§ 545. To secure that circumspection and prudence, 
and discreetness, and caution which our condition and 
circumstances in life, render necessary for individual and 
social welfare, (§ 537.) we have — 12th, the organ of Cau- 
tiousness, which is situated at the back corners of the head, 
— above, and a little behind the ears. — To prompt us to 
seek the good will and favorable opinion of others, and 
to incite us to the performance of those public and pri- 
vate deeds which serve the best interests of society, and 
become the foundations of honorable distinction and 
fame, we have — 13th, the organ of Love of Approbation, 
or the instinctive desire for distinction, which in the excess 
leads to vanity and ambition, and the restless strife for 
public applause and glory. This is situated between 
cautiousness and the crown. — To secure a proper stability 
and dignity of deportment and character, and to prompt 
us to undertake those deeds and enterprises, which we 
have the ability to perform, and which private and public 
good requires, we have — 14th, the organ of Self-Esteem; 

372 graham's lectures on the 

which in the excess leads to personal pride, haughtiness, 
superciliousness, contumeliousness, &c. This is situated 
at the crown of the head. — To secure that gentleness 
and affectionate conduct, and kindness of demeanor, and 
mercifulness, which are so essential to the happiness of 
domestic and social life, and those philanthropic efforts 
and enterprises which the public good requires, we have — 
15th, the organ of Benevolence; which is situated at die 
top of the forehead — near where the hair commences. 

Sentiments peculiar to Man. (§503.) 

§ 546. To secure that respect for the opinions of 
others, and especially for the aged, the experienced and 
the wise, and that reverence for superiors, and for the 
authority of those that have lived before us; and most of all, 
to secure that deep and solemn veneration for the Supreme 
Being, which the individual, and social and civil good of 
man requires, we have — 16th, the organ of Reverence; 
which is situated at the top of the head, mid- way between 
the crown and the forehead. — To give us fortitude, de- 
cision and perseverance of character, we have — 17th, the 
organ of Firmness, which in the excess degenerates into 
wilfulness, stubbornness, obstinacy; and becomes a desire 
to exercise authority, and to command. This is situat- 
ed at the top of the head, next in front of Self-Esteem* — 
To check our many selfish propensities, and to secure 
individual and civil integrity and righteousness, we have 
— ISth, the organ of Conscientiousness, or the instinctive 
dispositionto do right, to be just. This is situated on 
the side of firmness, — or between firmness and cau- 
tiousness. — To sustain us under the numerous discour- 
agements, and continued disappointments of life, and to 
support us even when the " life of life is gone," and 


nothing of this world, either in possession or in prospect, 
remains to cheer or comfort us, we have — 19th, the organ 
of Hope; which leads us on from day to day, with ex- 
pectations of good things to come; and when it can no 
longer cling to the promises of this world, it stretches 
forward and lays hold of the promises of a future state of 
being. This is situated by the side of veneration. — 
To sustain the hope of life and peace, and happiness 
beyond the grave, and to prompt us to look for those 
evidences which will afford us the belief of the existence 
and continual care and benevolent purpose of the Supreme 
Being, we have — 20th, the organ of Marvellousness, 
or instinctive disposition to "look through nature up to 
nature's God." This is situated in front of hope. — To 
exalt the mind " to all sublimer things," — to afford us 
the most elevated conceptions of truth and moral beauty 
and the perfectibility of things, and to stimulate us to the 
noblest and most honorable deeds, we have — 21st, the 
organ of Ideality; which is situated about mid-wry be- 
tween benevolence at the top of the forehead, and the 
ear. — To break up the monotony of life, to give elasti- 
city to our energies, and variety to our emotions, and to 
increase the pleasures of our social intercourse, we have — 
22d, the organ of Mirthfulness, or instinctive disposi- 
tion to facctiousness, wit, pleasantry, drollery, satire, &c. 
This is situated at the corners of the forehead, in front 
of ideality. — To enable us to represent our ideas of 
men and animals by signs, and tones, and gestures; and 
to accpure the necessary and the useful and the elegant 
arts of society, we have — 23d, the organ of Imitation; 
which is situated between mirthfulness and benevolence. 
§547. Of the Perceptive or Knowing Faculties 
of the mind, (§ 539.) we have— 24th, the organ of Individ- 
uality, or instinctive disposition to notice objects in their 

374 graiiam's lectures on tjie 

individual capacities, habits and peculiarities. This is sit- 
uated between the eyebrows. — 25th. The organ of Con- 
figuration, or the instinctive disposition to notice figures; 
and power to recollect persons and forms, seen before. 
— 26th. The organ of Size, or the in tinctive disposition 
to notice size, measure, distance, dimensions, &c. — 27th. 
The organ of Weight, or the faculty of judging of the 
weight of things, &c. — 2Sth. The organ of Coloring, or the 
faculty of nicely discriminating colors, hues, tints, &c. — 
29th. The organ of Locality, or the faculty which per- 
ceives and remembers the situations, and relative localities 
of external objects, and leads to the love of travelling. — 
30th. The organ of Order, or the power and inclination to 
perceive and observe order, and method, and precision of 
arrangement. — These last six organs, are situated in the 
range of the eyebrows; — arching from the inner to the 
outer corners of the eyes. — 31st. The organ of Calcula- 
tion, or the faculty of numeration, and calculation in 
general. This is situated at the outer corner of the eyes 
towards the ears. — 32d. The orga i of Eventuality, 
or the faculty of acquiring a knowledge of events and 
occurrences, and of noticing and remembering every 
thing that happens, and which leads to historical know- 
ledge. This is situated in the centre of the forehead, 
immediately above individuality. — 33d. The organ of 
Time, or the faculty which perceives and retains the 
succession of events, — remembers dates, &c. This is 
situated on the outside of eventuality towards the temple. 
— 34th. The organ of Tune, or the faculty which per- 
ceives harmony and discord; and imparts the ability to 
sing and to compose music. This is situated at the 
outer corner of the forehead between wit and order.— 
35th. The organ of Language, or the faculty of acquir- 
ing and retaining a knowledge of words, and of Ian- 


guages; and the power of remembering the names of 
persons, things, places, &c. This is situated behind 
the eyes, and when large, causes the eyes to stand out 

§548. The Reflective Faculties (§540.) con- 
sist of two pairs of organs — 36th. The organ of Com- 
parison, or the special power which compares the func- 
tions of all the other primitive faculties; and discerns 
resemblances, analogies, identities and differences. This 
is situated between eventuality and benevolence. — 37th. 
The organ of Causality, or the faculty which perceives 
the connexion between cause and effect, — leads to the 
investigation of causes and to the idea of the First Cause 
of all — God. This is situated on the outer side of 

§ 549. The ancient doctrine of temperaments and the 
somewhat more modern one of physiognomy were at 
first disregarded, or wholly repudiated by the phrenolo- 
gists, and the relative size of each organ, and the gener- 
al volume of brain, were considered the principal or 
exclusive evidences, of the power of the single and col- 
lective propensities, sentiments and intellectual facul- 
ties. So that, a large mass of brain, in a normal or 
proper state, was regarded as the sign of large powers; 
and the intellect, sentimentality, or animal propensities, 
of the individual were said to predominate according as 
the cerebral mass lay more in the front, or upper, or 
lower and back part of the skull. — But it did not require 
very extensive observation to lead to the inductive con- 
clusion that, the capacity of the forehead is not always the 
measure of the intellectual powers, even in a well-pro- 
portioned head. For, while it may be true as a general 
fact, according to the common impression of all ages, 
that the most extraordinary minds which have at different 

376 graiiam's lectures on the 

periods in the history of the human race, impressed their 
unperishing energies upon the world, have had their seats 
in capacious foreheads and been connected with large 
brains, yet we may everywhere meet with individuals 
with large heads and capacious foreheads, who possess no 
extraordinary powers of mind; but in some instances are 
remarkable for their stupidity; — while on the other hand, 
we everywhere meet with active and powerful minds 
in comparatively small heads, and rather low and narrow 
foreheads. — To meet these difficulties, the doctrine of 
temperaments has been invoked in its fullest extent: and 
finally, physiognomy has become completely associated 
with craniology in the present theory of phrenology. 

§ 550. The size and general proportions of the head, 
the particular prominences of the skull, the temperament 
and the physiognomy of the individual, are all therefore, 
to be taken into consideration in judging of the intellec- 
tual and moral character of persons. — Or in other words, 
both the size and activity, or energy of the cerebral 
organs are to be considered: and to ascertain the activi- 
ty or energy, the temperament is called in, and physi- 
ognomy is an important index of temperament and of the 
mental and moral and animal energies of the brain. 

§ 551. No organ however, is to be judged singly and 
absolutely, but relatively. As for instance, if we find 
combativeness largely developed, we are not therefore to 
conclude that the individual is a disputatious, contentious, 
quarrelsome fellow, who is continually in a brawl and 
fight: — but if we look still farther we may find that acquis- 
itiveness, and cautiousness, and love of approbation, and 
benevolence, and conscientiousness, and ideality, and 
causality, are all likewise largely developed. In such a 
case the conflicting elements will qualify and regulate 
each other, so as out of the whole to form a harmoni* 



ous unity of character. — Combativeness will carry the 
individual forward with an energy which will surmount 
every obstacle, and subdue every resistance and over- 
come every opposition, or perish in the attempt: 
acquisitiveness will prompt him to pursue a course of 
g a i n: _love of approbation will prompt him to seek 
his gain in a manner by which he may distinguish him- 
self and be the object of applause:— benevolence will 
lead him to seek his gain and glory, in some enterprise 
of philanthropy, which aims at the general welfare of 
mankind: — causality will lead him to pursue his enterprise 
of gain and glory and philanthropy,. in an original track 
and manner and in a philosophic form:— ideality will 
give an elevated character to his enterprise and enthusiasm 
to his efforts: — conscientiousness will prompt him to be 
strictly just and righteous in all his principles and meas- 
ures and operations and actions, by which he seeks to 
gratify his combativeness and acquisitiveness and love 
of approbation and benevolence and causality and 
ideality:— and cautiousness will prompt him to be ex- 
tremely careful to do nothing that will forfeit, or jeopard 
his interest, or his fame, or be in the least degree, incon- 
sistent with his principles of philanthropy, and strict 
righteousness; and cause him to examine all the prin- 
ciples of his philosophy, with the most rigid scrupolosity 
and by the severest test of facts and experiments. — 
.With such an organization therefore, the individual if suc- 
cessful, would, like a Franklin, acquire wealth and fame, 
in a manner which is not only consistent with, but high- 
ly conducive to the general welfare of his species; and 
strictly compatible with the purest and noblest private 

§ 552. The phrenological theory of Br. Gall, I have 
said, (§535.) claims to be purely inductive: and it is 

378 graham's lectures on the 

apparently supported by innumerable facts and coinci- 
dences; and is now too extensively received, and too 
ably advocated and defended, to be treated with ridicule 
or neglect. Every honest mind therefore, which is 
thoroughly imbued with the spirit of truth, will endeavor 
to examine it with candor and integrity, and neither 
seek to support, nor to demolish it by any unfair means. 
If it be true, no one should wish to oppose it. — If it be 
erroneous, no one should wish to defend, nor to cover 
its errors. Yet if 1 mistake not, neither its opposers 
nor defenders have at all times, manifested that candor 
and honesty which should always characterize our in- 
quiries after truth. 

§ 553. I am sure that I speak honestly, when I say 
that, I have no prejudices against this theory; but am 
favorably inclined towards it: — yet candor obliges me 
to acknowledge that, I am not so fully and entirely con- 
vinced of its truth, as some of its zealous adherents ap- 
pear to be. Being early addicted to physiological in- 
vestigation, and habituated to the closest observation of 
the mental and moral manifestations of man, in connex- 
ion with the physiological and pathological conditions of 
the body, I had arrived at, and was accustomed to teach 
those doctrines of intellectual and moral physiology which 
I still continue to advance, long before I heard of Dr. 
Gall, or of his theory of phrenology. — I do not however, 
intend to insinuate that any thing like the views of Dr. 
Gall, in relation to the general shape and particular 
prominences of the skull, as connected with the mental 
and moral manifestations of the individual, had ever en- 
tered my mind; — except the common impression in re- 
gard to the capaciousness of the forehead, &c; nor do I 
claim to have conceived of the plurality of organs in the 
brain. I had however, embraced, and publicly advanced 


the opinion, that the nerves of special sense and all the 
other nerves and parts within the cranium, and indeed 
the whole cerebro-spinal system of nerves, (§ 232 — 307) 
have a common centre of perception, at, or near the top 
of the medulla oblongata; (§280.) but this was then 
purely an hypothesis inferred from the phenomena of 
mental and moral physiology. — My attention had been 
directed almost entirely to the intellectual and moral 
manifestations as affected by the physiological and pa- 
thological conditions of the body; and to the analysis of 
the intellectual and moral powers as connected with the 
brain and nervous system as a whole: and in these pur- 
suits I had arrived at the opinions which I still entertain 
in regard to intellectual and moral physiology; — many of 
which are now claimed by writers on phrenology, as 
belonging peculiarly to that theory. 

§ 554. There certainly appear to be many and strong 
reasons for believing that the brain consists of a plurality 
of organs, and that these particular organs perform special 
functions; and also that there is a correspondence be- 
tween the external shape of the skull and the intellectual 
and moral character of the individual. Nevertheless it 
must be acknowledged that, none of these points has yet 
been conclusively demonstrated, and therefore they 
must still be regarded as at least in some measure, proble- 

§ 555. One of the principal positions urged in support 
of this theory, is that, when the mind has been severely 
applied to a particular subject till it becomes weary, if it 
be directed to another subject, it is instantly relieved, 
and feels comparatively fresh and vigorous. This, it is 
said, proves the plurality of organs in the brain; as the 
relief experienced arises from a change of the special or- 
gans in the mental operations: — or in other words, that 

380 graham's lectures on the 

by turning the mind from one subject to another, the 
weary organ is left to rest, and a fresh organ is called 
into exercise: — for how, it is asked, could relief be ex- 
perienced by a change of subjects, if the brain acted as 
a single organ? But this seems to suppose not only 
that there is a plurality of organs in the brain, but also 
that each individual organ possesses the capacity and 
power of earring on a process of perception, reflection 
reasoning, &c. independently of the other organs. Yet 
according to the general theory, the reflective faculties 
are more or less actively employed in all processes of rea- 
soning, investigation, inquiry, &c. ; and therefore, whatever 
may be the subject to which the mind is applied, the 
reflective faculties must be exercised in every act of rea- 

§ 556. If I understand the theory, the power of each 
special organ is a simple element of the mind, and not a 
complex power: and all these elements together, con- 
stitute the one mind; and not a complex assemblage of 
minds: — and in proportion as one or another of these 
elements, enters more or less largely into the mental 
constitution, so is the mind qualified and characterized. 
If this statement is correct, then it is evidently unphilo- 
sophical, on phrenologial premises, to suppose that one 
organ or any number of organs can be so exclusively 
employed on one subject, as that a change of the subject 
will call into action a wholly new set of organs, and leave 
the weary ones to rest. For whether the subject be 
algebra or geography or chemistry or any other, some 
of the same faculties are always principally employed in 
every process of reasoning. Simple perception may 
be performed by a single organ as an element in the men- 
tal constitution, but when reflection, comparison and 
reasoning take place, other organs must also be called 


into exercise, and organs too, which are always more or 
less concerned in every act of reasoning on every sub- 

§ 557. Moreover, the fact assumed in the case is 
very questionable. — If two bushels of salt be placed on 
a man's shoulder and he carry it till he becomes weary, 
and then if the salt be taken off, and two bushels of oats 
be placed upon the same shoulder, the man will feel 
greatly relieved, and it will almost seem to him that he 
has no load at all. — And so in the labors of the mind; — 
if we apply our thoughts to a particular subject, till — to 
use common language — the mind becomes weary, and 
then turn our attention to some light and amusing subject, 
we certainly feel much relieved. But if the mind be 
severely employed on a particular subject, till painful 
weariness is experienced, and then be applied with equal 
severity, to another subject, which requires an equal 
degree of mental power, so far shall we be from experi- 
encing any relief, that the weariness will continue, and 
increase, till it becomes intolerable. — Sometimes the 
mind is greatly relieved by changing the question without 
changing the nature of the subject. As for example: — 
we may attempt the solution of a question in the science 
of numbers, and by some accident or mistake, embarrass 
the mental associations in some of the processes, and 
continue to labor without success, till the mind — as we 
say — becomes extremely weary and confused or con- 
founded; and then we may turn immediately to another 
equally difficult question in the same science, and the 
mind will feel at once, and very considerably relieved; 
and will perhaps, solve the question with very little diffi- 
cult)-; and then return to the former question, and solve 
that too, in less than one fourth of the time that was 
devoted to it at first; — and finally, quit its labors with 

382 graham's lectures on the 

less sense of weariness than was felt when it turned to 
the second question. But does this prove that in chang- 
ing the question, we change the organs also? — and that 
we have different organs for different problems in mathe- 
matics? Evidently not! — On the whole then, I conceive 
that this position when properly examined, neither proves 
any thing for, nor against the theory of Dr. Gall. 

§ 558. Another, and perhaps the most important posi- 
tion advanced in support of Dr. Gall's theory is that, we 
frequently see people totally insane on one subject, and 
perfectly sane on all others; and it is contended that, this 
fact can only be accounted for by admitting a plurality of 
cerebral organs, and that one of these organs is diseased. 
— This position is strictly consistent with the philosophy 
of the general theory, and maybe correct; — and if so, is 
very conclusive: — while on the other hand, if it can be 
proved to be incorrect the general principles of the theory 
may nevertheless be true. 

§ 559. The consideration of this position will neces- 
sarily lead us over the whole field of intellectual physiol- 
ogy. For, in order to ascertain what insanity is, we 
must first determine what sanity is; and this renders it 
necessary that the elements and laws of mind should be 
clearly ascertained. In speaking of insanity however, 
it is highly important that the meaning of the term should 
be accurately understood. Strictly speaking, the mind 
in itself, is incapable of insanity. It is governed by- 
certain general laws, which it always, and under all cir- 
cumstances and conditions obeys. Even in the worst 
cases of madness, the mind is true to its own laws; and 
in obeying these laws, exhibits what we call insanity. 

§ 560. We have seen (§ 530.) that whatever be the 
substratum of the sensorial power of the human brain, 
it resides in and acts through the organized matter of the 


nervous substance, during our present state of existence 
precisely the same as if it were merely a property of 
that vitalized matter, and all its powers and manifestations 
are subject to precisely the same laws as govern the 
powers and manifestations of vitality; and this is equally 
ti ue whether the brain be a single organ or a system of 
organs. — We have seen also, (§242. 251. 252. 253. 
254. 294. 295. 397. 398. 403. 409.) that man possesses 
several organs of special sense, all of which convey their 
impressions to the cerebral centre of perception, (§ 2S0.) 
from which they are reflected to the mental organs. We 
have the special sense of touch, (§ 253.) of taste, of 
smell, of hearing and of sight. Hunger, (§247.) and 
all the other feelings or senses by which the cerebral 
centre has cognizance of the specific wants of the vital 
economy, arc likewise as truly special senses as taste, 
smell, hearing and sight. 

§ 561. The effect produced on the organs of these 
senses and through them, on the cerebral centre, by the 
action of appropriate stimuli is what we call perception: 
but neither the hemispheres of the brain, (§ 265.) nor 
the lobes of the little brain, (§ 264.) are essential to ani- 
mal perception. (§259.) Some portion at least, of the 
hemispheres of the brain however, is essential to intel- 
lectual perception. 

§ 562. The sense of sight is the exclusive source of 
imagery to the mind. When the light is reflected from 
any object upon the retina of the eye, (§252.) certain 
impressions are made upon the retina which are perceived 
by the mind; or in other words, by which the mind has 
a perception of the object. 

§ 563. There has been a good deal of speculation 
about the physiological and psychological philosophy of 
vision, (§415.) but the eye has too generally been treat- 

384 graham's lectures on the 

ed as merely a mechanical organ, and considered as 
entirely passive in the function of vision: and hence, it 
has been compared to a camera obscura with its invert- 
ed image, &c. (§ 416. 417.) So far as regards the 
mechanical and physical philosophy of vision, this is all 
well enough; but it does not explain the vital and mental 
function. — Tt does not inform us how the animal sees 
the objsct. 

§ 564. In one respect at least, there is an essential 
and very important difference between the eye and the 
camera obscura: — the optic nerve with its expanded ex- 
tremity, forming the retina, is a living organ, endowed with 
a pe< isibility to all the properties of things which 

are perceived by the medium of light: — but this sensibility 
depends on the connexion of the optic nerve with the 
centre of animal perception, and on the healthy condition 
of the parts. And the perception being made by the 
organ in connexion with the animal centre, we do not 
actually see things inverted as has been generally supposed, 
because the mind does not perceive the inverted image 
formed upon the retina of the eye, as we perceive that of 
a camera obscura: but the image formed upon the retina 
of the eye, instead of being perceived by the mind as an 
image or representation of an external object, constitutes 
what may be called the stimulus of visual perception, by 
which the external object itself is really seen. Or in 
other words, the colors and all the other qualities of the 
image caused by the light reflected from an external object, 
are the real visual properties of the object, and are to the 
living organ, so many specific kinds of visual stimuli, 
giving to the parts on which they act, the impressions 
which being perceived by the animal centre, (§280.) 
co mute the animal perception of the real external 
qbjei I : and therefore, the perception of the several parts 


of an external object is always made with reference to the 
direction of the rays of Mghr which convey the stimuli; 
and consequently all external objects are seen in their 
natural and real position. 

§ 565. When for instance, the rays of light which are 
reflected from a person, animal, tree, or any other exter- 
nal object, fall upon the retina of the eye, an exact image 
of the object is formed on the retina, but as the rays of 
light cross each other, (fig. 51.) before they reach the 
retina, (§ 41 G. 417.) the image is inverted and turned side 
for side; but this image is not perceived by the mind, as 
the image or representation of the external object, but 
all the elements and qualities of the image act on the 
peculiar sensibility of the optic nerve, as specific and 
delicately modified stimuli: or in other words, they are 
the real visual properties of the external object, which 
act as the appropriate stimuli on the retina of the optic 
nerve, in perfect analogy with the action of gustatory, 
olfactory and auditory stimuli on their appropriate organs. 

§ 566. The peculiar sensibility of the gustatory nerve, 
(§ 294.) in connexion with the animal centre of percep- 
tion, feels those properties of things which it is adapted 
to perceive, as sweet, so ir, bitter, &c, and this is the 
perception of taste. The peculiar sensibility of the olfac- 
tory nerve feels those properties of things which it is 
adapted to perceive, — as the various odors, and this is 
the perception of smell. The peculiar sensibility of the 
auditory nerve, feels those properties of things which it 
is adapted to perceive, as the various undulations or vi- 
brations of air, &c. causing sound, and this is the percep- 
tion of hearing: and in precisely the same manner the 
peculiar sensibili y of the optic nerve feels the visual 
properties of things, and this is the perception of sight. 
And thus the visual properties of external things as really 

386 graham's lectures on the 

and truly act upon the optic nerve, as the olfactory and 
gustatory properties of external things do upon the nerves 
of smell and taste. In each case the appropriate prop- 
erties are brought in contact with, and act upon the nerve, 
as appropriate stimuli, producing specific impressions or 
sensations, which the mind perceives as the properties of 
the real things, and in perceiving these impressions or 
sensations, the mind always refers them to the things 
from which they are received; according to the constitu- 
tional laws of the particular function. And consequently 
the inverted image formed upon the retina, instead of being 
perceived as an image or representation of the external 
object, is felt as the visual properties of the real object 
itself, the same as its tangible properties are felt by the 
organ of touch — the gustatory properties by the organ of 
taste, &c; and therefore the impressions or sensations 
produced by these properties, as the appropriate stimuli 
of the organs, are instinctively and necessarily referred 
to the real external object, whose visual properties act 
upon the organ, and in the direction of the rays of light 
which convey the properties to the retina. Thus, though 
the visual properties of the top of an object, (fig. 51.) are 
thrown upon the bottom of the retina, yet from the con- 
stitutional laws of the function of vision, we instinctively 
and necessarily refer the impression or sensation to the 
top of the object, in the line of the rays of light by which 
the properties are conveyed to the retina, and consequent- 
ly, we actually see things just as they really are; i nless 
we see them through distorting media; or through i odies 
which bend the rays of light, and change their < olors 
before they reach the eye. 

§ 5.67. Whether the optic nerve itself, or some other 
part, is the seat or receptacle of those impress:' ;s or 
sensations which constitute the mental ideas of the visual 


properties of external things, is not yet ascertained and 
perhaps never will be: but wherever the seat maybe, it 
is certain that those impressions or sensations may be 
reproduced without the presence and actual perception of 
the external things by which they were first caused, and 
this reproduction is called mental conception. 

§ 56S. We have a visual perception of an external 
object when it is really before us and we actually see it; 
or when its visual properties are actually thrown upon 
the retina of the eye: and wehave a visual conception of 
that object, when, in its absence, we reproduce the 
impression or sensation first caused by the action of the 
visual properties of the object on the retina: — or in other 
words, when the mind distinctly perceives the external 
object, without the real visual function of the eye: — or 
without actually seeing it: — for, the instant the im- 
pression or sensation is distinctly reproduced the mind 
instinctively and necessarily refers it, according to the 
laws of visual perception, (§ 564.) to the external object 
by which it was first caused: and thus by perfect concep- 
tion, the external object is made to stand as clearly and 
distinctly before the mind as it does in the real act of 
perception. And when our mental conception of exter- 
nal things is vivid, distinct and complete we call it ima- 

§ 569. When a perception is made, it is instantly 
reflected to the intellectual faculties, and the reflected 
impression or sensation becomes a more abstract property 
of the mind, and is capable of being reproduced at any 
time, without actual perception or real conception, (§ 568.) 
and this is called reflection. 

§ 570. But our reflections always tend to produce 
conceptions, and are always the most clear and vigorous 
when our conception is the most vivid and distinct: and 

3S8 graham's lectures on the 

hence the writer or speaker who, when writing or 
speaking, has the most vivid and accurate conception of 
the tilings of which he treats, always presents his subject 
most clearly and eloquently, and always produces the 
most powerful effect upon his readers or hearers, by 
presenting to their minds most vividly and distinctly the 
images of his own, 

§571. Conception also greatly assists reflection by 
enabling the mind to contemplate, examine, analyze and 
compare things which have been perceived; and, by ascer- 
taining the accidental and essential differences, resem- 
blances and identities, to arrive at general conclusions and 
first principles, and thus elaborate the general theory of 

§ 572. The power of recalling or reproducing the 
thoughts of reflection (§ 569.) in their regular associations 
is called memory; and consequently memory, while it is a 
single attribute of the mind, is nevertheless, according to 
phrenology, of diversified power, and pertains to each 
individual organ of the brain: so that, w r e may have a 
very good memory on one subject and a very poor one 
on another, according to the relative activity and power of 
the individual organs. 

§573. Visual perception, (§568.) I have said, (§562.) 
is the only source of that conception (§ 568.) which 
presents imagery to the mind. Auditory perception is 
also a source of mental conception, but to a more limited 
extent than that of vision: and we re m ch more rarely 
capable of reproducing the distinct impressions or sensa- 
tions of auditory perception than we are those of vision. 
The reflected impressions or sensations (§569.) of 
auditory perceptions are however, very easily reproduced, 
especially when the power is cultivated, as in music. 
But except in dreams and disease, we never distinctly 


hear sounds by conception. The perceptions of smell, 
taste and touch, are also rarely the sources of mental 
conception except in dreams and disease.* 

§574. The succession of our perceptions establishes 
certain relations between the sensations of perception, 
and also between the thoughts of reflection, (§569.) so 
that, the reproduction either of a sensation of perception or 
of a thought of reflection, naturally tends to the repro- 
duction of others associated with it: — and this is what 
is called the association of ideas, — the law of associa- 
tion, &.c. — The perceptions of the different senses 
become associated in the same manner. — Thus we look 
at a certain figure and hear it called A till we learn so 
completely to associate the visual and auditory percep- 
tions in our thoughts of reflection, that they become 
inseparable, and indeed, seem essentially one; and the 
name becomes the mental abstract of the thing: — and, 
except in cases of actual perception or conception, 
(§ 568.) all our thoughts are of this kind; — a species of 
algebraical abstraction or nominal representation in the 
mind, of things existing separately from the mind. Thus, 
we write and talk rapidly of trees, animals, men, &c. 
without having distinct images of the things we write or 
speak of presented to the mind. But as I have said, 
(§ 570.) reflection always tends to produce conception, 
and it rarely if ever becomes energetic and determinate, 
without producing some degree of conception, or 

* Mr. James Hill, a respectable farmer of West Cambridge, Mass., 
now about sixty years old, and in pretty good general health, entirely 
lost the sense of smell ten years ago, and lias snielled nothing since; — 
nut <ven the strongest and most pungent and offensive odors. Still 
the sense of touch remains perfect in the nostrils. Mr. IJill says he 
often dreams of smelling and has a distinct and full conception of odors, 
especially the offensive. June 1, 1838. 

390 graham's lectures on the 

reproducing to some extent the primary sensations of 
perception. (§ 568.) 

§ 575. The sensations of perception, both in their 
primary form, as reproduced in conception, (§ 5GS.) 
and in the form of thoughts of reflection, (§ 569.) are 
also intimately associated with our animal appetites and 
moral feelings: so that, the perception, the conception, 
and even the thought of certain things, will arouse certain 
appetites or propensities, or excite certain emotions or 
feelings: — and, on the other hand, the emotions or the 
appstites will call up the thoughts and conceptions. 
Thus, if we intently think of any kind of delicious fruit 
or of any food of which we are fond, conception will 
soon present the fruit or food distinctly to the mind's eye; 
and the animal appetite for it will socn be roused, and 
perhaps become even painfully importunate: and on the 
other hand, if the appetite be excited by the want of the 
vital economy, the thoughts and conceptions of something 
fitted to gratify the appetite, will instantly be produced; 
and if the appetite be specific and determinate, the thing 
thought of and conceived will be specific. — So likewise, 
if our perceptions of things are constantly attended with 
certain moral precepts, admonitions or feelings, our con- 
ceptions of those things will always remind us of the 
associated sentiments; and generally, if not always, repro- 
duce the associated feelings: — and our thoughts of those 
things always tend to produce the conceptions, (568.) 
and thus excite the emotions. And, on the other hand, 
if the feelings be produced by a physiological or patho- 
logical condition of the body, the thoughts and concep- 
tions are called up, and the mind contemplates the thing 
thought of, as the cause of the feeling. (§£02 — £05.) 
Thus, if an individual is devoutly and zealously religious, 
and always contemplates the favor of his God with 



pleasurable feelings, that physiological condition of his 
body which, in common language, is called a happy flow 
of animal spirits, will be sure to call up his religious 
thoughts and conceptions, and he will consider the feel- 
ing as entirely of a religious and spiritual character and 
origin. So likewise, if he is accustomed to the use of 
tea, coffee, wine, tobacco, opium or any other alcoholic 
or narcotic or other stimulant, the pleasurable stimula- 
tion which he receives from his stimulant, will, unless his 
attention is directly engaged in some other matter, call 
up his religious thoughts and conceptions, and he will 
attribute his happy frame to his religion:— and on the 
contrary, if from the pernicious effects of his stimulant 
on his nervous system, or from some other cause, a 
physiological depression results, a general feeling of dis- 
tress or unhappiness will be induced, which will fill his 
mind with religious doubts and fears, and he will attribute 
his feeling entirely to those doubts and fears; or both 
the doubts and the feeling, to the withdrawment of the 
favor of God. 

§ 576. It is not possible for the mind to perceive two 
separate and distinct objects of thought at one and the 
same instant:— nor is it possible for the mind to have a 
distinct perception and conception (§56S.) at one and the 
same instant. When the mind is occupied with a dis- 
tinct perception of things, no mental conception can take 
place; and when it is occupied with a distinct conception, 
perception is wholly suspended. Thus, when we are 
completely absorbed in a reverie, or in that state in which 
the mind is perfectly engrossed in the contemplation 
of its own conceptions, the functions of all our organs 
of sense, are totally suspended, and we no more per- 
ceive any thing by siglrt, hearing, smell, taste or touch 
than if all our organs of sense were paralyzed. It is 

392 graiiam's lectures on the 

indeed, a perfect dream.— The instant we are conscious 
of a perception, (§561.) the ideal presence vanishes and 
the reverie is destroyed. The ability to retire within 
ourselves from the perception of every thing around 
us, and shut the mind up to its conceptions and reflec- 
tions, is called the power of abstraction, or in the lan- 
guage of phrenology, concentrativeness. But the con- 
stant action of the appropriate stimuli of vision, hearing, 
smell, &c. on the sensibilities of our organs while we 
are awake, renders it difficult for us to become as per- 
fectly abstracted from the consciousness of surrounding 
things as when asleep, and therefore our mental concep- 
tions are generally most vivid and distinct and the ideal 
presence most perfect in our dreams, when our external 
senses are locked up in sleep. For dreams are nothing 
more than the more or less perfect reproduction of the 
sensations of perception, with a varied extent of asso- 
ciated reflection. Whether thoughts of reflection (§ 569.) 
are first excited and lead to conception, (§ 568.) or con- 
ception is first induced and excites thoughts of reflection, 
in dreams, is not certain. Perhaps sometimes one and 
sometimes the other. 

§ 577. In perfect sleep, there is a total suspension of 
all the functional powers cf the nerves of animal life, 
(§ 228. 229.) and we neither dream nor are conscious 
of our existence. When we dream therefore, our sleep 
is imperfect; and it is rendered imperfect by some ner- 
vous irritation, or some physiological oppression or 
depression in the body; and this disturbing cause, what- 
ever it be, is also the exciting cause of our dreams; and 
the character of our dreams, as to pleasantness or un- 
pleasantness, always corresponds with the nature and 
degree of the nervous irritation and the general condition 
of the nervous system; and especially the nerves of 


organic life. (§ 22S.) Most frequently however, the excit- 
ing cause of dreams is some irritation in the digestive or- 
gans: (§297. 298. 299.) but this is not always the case. 
§ 578. Whether asleep or awake then, when our 
conceptions (§ 568.) are complete or perfect, they are 
as much realities to the mind as our actual perceptions: 
(§ 561.) and it is only when our conceptions have given 
place to actual perceptions that we know that the con- 
ceptions are not real perceptions. Nothing is more 
real to the mind than dreams while they last. — We do 
not — we cannot know them from realities until they 
cease to be, and we wake to reality and find we iiave 
been dreaming. And this is strictly true of our day 
dreams or ever es, and i f all our menta conceptions. — 
The conceptions of the poet or t e painter in what is 
called is moments of inspiration, are as real to his mind 
as his actual perceptions, and their effects upon his body 
are generally even more powerful: and when his concep- 
tions are 1 vivid, distinct and complete, it is impossible for 
him to know, or to have the slightest suspicion, while 
they remain, that the ideal presence is not a reality. — 
If, in the moments of his high and powerful conceptions, 
we should see the poet, without impairing the spell of 
his soul, in the least degree, and behold the intense 
meaning of his eye and all the workings and expressions 
of his countenance — his violent gestures — his sudden 
starts — his hurried or suspended respiration, and hear 
him break forth in his soliloquies or in his addresses to 
the beings of his imagination, with tender, melting tones, 
or with terrible vehemence, and fierce impetuosity, we 
should certainly believe him to be a raving maniac, and 
probably, as others have done before us, shrink with 
shuddering dread from such fearful manifestations of 
insanity. Yet in all this the poet's mind operates in 

394 graham's lectures on the 

strict accordance with those general and fixed laws which 
govern every human mind; and is no more insane than 
the mind of the merchant is, when it is so completely 
engrossed in the conceptions of things that relate to his 
mercantile business, that, he walks along the public street 
of the city, without knowing whom he meets or what he 
passes. — The only difference is that, the conceptions of 
the poet are of a more exciting character and produce a 
more extensive and powerful effect on the whole nervous 
system; causing corrrespondent looks, gestures, &c. 
Besides, the general nervous excitability of those who 
are what we call poetic and other genuises, is much 
greater than ordinar ; and in fact, this is the principal 
element of all genius. 

§579. Perception and conception (§568.) I have 
said (§ 576.) cannot take place at one and the same 
instant, and hence our conceptions are generally the most 
vivid and distinct and perfect in dreams, when the organs 
of perception are sealed up in sleep: — and hence also, 
nervous people generally prefer to have a light in their 
bed-rooms during the night, so that, they can see things 
distinctly when they are awake, and thus be able to pre- 
vent disagreeable conceptions, by actual perceptions. 
Upon the same principle, if an individual who is much 
afraid of dogs, is walking along the street in the day- 
time, and sees a large stone by the way, he does not 
mistake it for a dog, because he distinctly perceives it to 
be a stone: — but if it be at night when it is too dark for 
him to have a distinct perception of the stone, the indis- 
tinct perception may instantly give place to a distinct and 
vivid conception of a dog, and while the conception lasts 
(§ 578.) the dog will stand as distinctly before his mind 
as if it were an actual perception: — and the same effects 
will be produced on his whole mind and body. 


§ 5S0. No man is suspected of insanity because he 
dreams in his sleep; and if one who is accustomed to do 
so, gets up in his dream, and with his eyes open but 
without perceiving any thing, walks about and acts and 
talks according to his conceptions, we still sa) r he is 
dreaming; — but if he should remain in this state through 
the night and the following day, we should unhesitatingly 
pronounce it a case of insanity. Yet the mind would 
strictly observe the same laws that it does in ordinary 
dreams, and the same that govern it always when 

§5S1. The exciting cause of dreams, somnambulism, 
&c I have said (§577.) is nervous irritation. When 
the system is perfectly healthy and undisturbed, sleep is 
death-like — a total and perfect suspension of all the func- 
tional powers of the nerves of animal life (§22S.) and of 
all consciousness of existence: and the organs of exter- 
nal perception are, as it were, paralyzed to all external 
impressions, until the full purposes of sleep are effected, 
and the instinctive economy of organic life throws open 
the windows of the soul and restores every sense to its 
appropriate organ. The nervous irritation which pro- 
duces dreams, may be carried to such an extent of dis- 
ease as will cause such a constant succession or perma- 
nence of distinct and vivid conceptions when we are 
awake, that our mind will be mostly or entirely engrossed 
with these conceptions, and almost wholly abstracted 
from actual perceptions. The things conceived will be 
realities to the mind (§ 57S.) and we shall think, feel, 
talk and act the same as if our conceptions were real 
perceptions: and then, of course, we shall be called 
insane. If the nervous irritation runs so high as totally 
to engross the mind in its conceptions, and causes us to 
see all surrounding things as the objects of our concep- 

396 graham's lectures on the 

tions, transforming our friends to savages, demons, &c., 
we shall be said to tie totally insane, and perhaps, raving 
maniacs; according to the degree of nervous irritation. 

§ 532. The constant contemplation of things conceiv- 
ed, as realities, will soon establish new associations of 
thought and feelings, (§574. 575.) and thus lay the 
foundation for permanent insanity, even when the gener- 
al nervous irritation has much subsided. — For intellec- 
tual habitudes of every kind are easily formed, and when 
once established, are with great difficulty broken up, and 
especially those which are associated with our feelings 
and propensities. 

§ 533. When the nervous irritation is less violent, and 
has been developed in connexion with certain qualifying 
circumstances and corresponding operations of the mind, 
as the loss of property, character, friends, &c, the mor- 
bid conceptions may be limited to a single subject, and 
then the case will be called monomania, or insanity on 
one subject; — the mind being sound on all other subjects. 

§ 534. Yet it is obvious that in all this, the mind 
observes the same laws that govern all human minds at 
all times. (§ 559.) The soundest mind in the world 
regards its conceptions, while they continue, as real per- 
ceptions; (§ 578.) and thinks, feels and acts, according- 
ly: and the insane mind does the same. 

§ 585. Another general principle which T have already 
alludjd to, is of so much importance in the intellectual 
and moral philosophy of man, that it requires to be more 
extensively explained and illustrated. — I have said 
(§575.) that the sensations of perception, both in their 
primary form, as reproduced by conception, and in 
the form of thoughts of reflection, are intimately associ- 
ated with our feelings or emotions, so that, the perception 
— the conception and even the thought of certain things 


will produce certain emotions; and on the other hand, 
certain feelings will excite certain thoughts and concep- 
tions by which the feelings or emotions will be very 
greatly increased. Thus — to repeat the former illustra- 
tion, (§ 575.) a zealously religious person who always 
contemplates the favor of his God with pleasurable emo- 
tions, and the withdrawment of that favor with painful 
feelings, will have a pleasurable train of religious thoughts 
and conceptions called up, and his hopes brightened, and 
his faith strengthened by that physiological condition of his 
body which we call a delightful flow of the animal spirits, 
(§ 305.) whether produced by mental, moral or physical 
stimuli; and he will consider the feeling as entirely of a 
religious and spiritual origin and character, and this feel- 
ing will be very greatly enhanced by the reaction of the 
thoughts and conceptions which it excites: — and on the 
other hand, a physiological depression, by whatever cause 
produced, will be sure to call up in his mind a train of 
gloomy thoughts and conceptions, which will exceed- 
ingly augment his depression, and he will be filled witb 
religious doubts and fears: — his faith will become feeble 
and his hopes will be darkened and perhaps yield to 
despair, and he will attribute the whole of his distress to 
the doubts and fears of his mind, and these, he will attrib- 
ute to his convictions of his very great sinfulness, and 
the total withdrawment of the favor of his God. — He 
will, at such times, review his past life with the deepest 
anguish and remorse, and contemplate many former 
deeds as unpardonably sinful, which, in a healthier state 
of his nervous system, he regards in a very different 
light: — and the darkness of his doubts, the depth of his 
despair, and the violence of his remorse will always be 
proportionate to the morbid irritation and physiological 

398 graham's lectures on the 

depression of his nervous system. — The unhappy Cow- 
per affords a melancholy illustration of this doctrine. 

§ 586. It is then, a general law of the mind, which 
governs it in all states and conditions, that the importance, 
in our estimation, of any subject which we contemplate, 
or the force of any evidence which we examine, is 
always equal to the degree of feeling or emotion connected 
with our thoughts, conceptions and perceptions on the 
subject, and consequently our reasonings and conclusions 
correspond with our feelings. But, as we have seen, 
(§ 305.) the mind cannot be conscious of the difference 
between those feelings which arise from a peculiar physi- 
ological condition of the nervous system, and which 
cause our melancholy or pleasing thoughts and concep- 
tions, and those feelings which are caused entirely by 
our thoughts, conceptions and perceptions; and therefore, 
when the mind acts according to its own consciousness, 
it always and necessarily judges that all our emotions or 
feelings connected with our thoughts, conceptions and 
perceptions, are entirely caused by those thoughts, con- 
ceptions and perceptions. — And hence, unless we go 
out of ourselves, and judge of ourselves scientifically, 
and independently of our own consciousness, we neces- 
sarily attribute to the subject on which our mind is exer- 
cised, the influence or power, by which all our intellectual 
operations and our feelings in regard to it are produced;— 
and therefore, we necessarily estimate the reality and im- 
portance of that subject, to us, by the degree of our feel- 
ings when contemplating it, whether those feelings are 
actually produced by the contemplation, by physical stim- 
uli or by morbid irritation and sympathy.— Thus, when 
a person is in perfect health of body, he may hear of some 
expressions of disapprobation which have been made 
concerning himself, and regard them as a part of the 


common gossiping of society; and contemplate them with 
little or no emotion: but let the same person hear the 
same things when he is laboring under extreme nervous 
irritation and depression, and he will contemplate them 
with great emotion; and all the morbid sensibilities of 
his nervous system, while they excessively increase the 
vividness of his conceptions (§ 56S.) and the energy of 
his thoughts, on the subject, will, at the same time, be 
so intimately connected, and indeed, identified in his 
consciousness, with his purely mental operations, that he 
will — without the least suspicion to the contrary, regard 
them as entirely the result of his mental action on that par- 
ticular subject, — and therefore, of necessity, in the consti- 
tutional nature of things, he will feel the subject to be of 
very great and pressing importance to him, and he will in- 
evitably judge its importance to be equal to the degree of 
the feeling with which he contemplates it. Under this 
morbid influence of his nervous system upon his mental 
operations, he will be very likely to think that his repu- 
tation is seriously assailed, and to cherish the most pain- 
ful apprehensions that his character will be ruined, and 
all his respectability and prosperity and comfort in life, de- 
stroyed. The more he contemplates the subject, the 
more vividly and energetically will his morbid sensibil- 
ities call up his conceptions and reflections, which will 
react upon those very sensibilities, to enhance them ex- 
ceedingly, and augment the nervous irritation, and fear- 
fully increase the physiological depression and derange- 
ment of his whole system: and all this again, will react 
upon his mental faculties; controlling his mental opera- 
tions, and forcing upon him the consciousness and the 
conclusion that all his suffering arises from the ruin of 
his character, by the malicious calumny of his heartless 
and wicked persecutors: — and he may soon come to 

400 graham's lectures on the 

believe that every body is an enemy, and that, there is a 
general conspiracy to destroy him. — At the same time, 
he will be capable of thinking, reasoning and judging, with 
perfect correctness on any other subject, by which his 
morbid sensibilities are not excited; — unless his nervous 
irritation and depression is continually kept up by some 
physical cause: (§581.) and then, he will either mani- 
fest equal insanity on all subjects, or it will be exceedingly 
difficult to draw his attention for a moment from the 
conceptions and reflections which engross his mind on 
the one subject; and he will constantly recur to that 
subject, as soon as the direct efforts cease, which are 
made to fix his attention on real perceptions. 

§587. The same important law of the mind is illus- 
trated by a case of inebriation. A person who is under 
the intoxicating effects of tea, coffee, tobacco, opium, 
wine, distilled spirit, or any other narcotic or alcoholic 
substance, is like an organ filled with wind, which is ready 
and pressing to rush out and form a tone, at any pipe 
which is unstopped. He is filled with a nervous pathos 
which is ready to manifest itself in the form of a moral 
passion, at any pipe of the mind which may be opened to 
give it vent. Or in other words, he is under a nervous 
excitement which becomes identified with the exercises 
of the mind, on any subject to which his attention may 
be called; and causes him to think, conceive, perceive, 
feel and act on that subject with an ardor and earnestness 
commensurate with its intensity. If he be engaged in 
religious meditations or exercises, all his nervous excite- 
ment produced by the intoxicating substance, will become 
to his consciousness, purely religious feeling arising from 
the action of his mind on the subject which engages his 
attention: (§ 586.) or perhaps he will even attribute it to 
Divine influence, and he will rejoice in the blessedness 



of his frame of mind and tenderness of heart, and he 
will sing, exhort or pray with a self-satisfaction equal to 
the tone of his feelings, and perhaps with a pathos of elo. 
quence which will stir up the sympathies of all around 
him. While in this state, he necessarily judges according 
to his feelings: religion is then every thing to him,— he 
marvels that every body should not be religious,— this 
world with all its joys and promises and hopes is a mere 
delusion, and he is ready, yea, longs to shake off his 
earthly tabernacle, and hasten to the mansions of the 
blessed. But when his stimulation has passed away, it 
is possible you may find him of a very different tone and 
complexion of piety.— If he be engaged in convivial 
pleasures, surrounded by cheerful companions and music 
and dancing, all his nervous excitement produced by the 
intoxicating substance, will become to his consciousness, 
identified with his mental exercises on every subject to 
which his attention is directed. (§ 5S6.)— If he listens 
to the music, he will feel that it moves him exceedingly, 
and think he never heard it sound better.— If he becomes 
attentive to the ladies, he will feel that they never ap- 
peared so bright and beautiful and fascinating:— the civil- 
ities and courtesies of the gentlemen, will be regarded as 
uncommonly generous and agreeable. — Or if he thinks 
himself slighted or insulted, he feels the indignity with 
equal intensity; and the more he contemplates it, the more 
his wrath kindles; and in all the degrees of his passion, 
he judges that his feelings are produced entirely by the 
insult, and necessarily measures the importance and 
offensiveness of the insult by the intensity of his feelings: 
and he vents himself in violent language, or seeks re- 
venge by physical force; and with fists, clubs," dirks, 
pistols or some other weapon, rushes in his madness to 

402 graham's lectures on the 

deeds of violence and outrage, and perhaps of blood and 

§ 588. Thus in all circumstances, the nervous excite- 
ment produced by an intoxicating substance, is naturally 
converted into a moral affection, emotion or passion, on 
any subject to which the attention of the mind is given, 
and, in the consciousness of the individual, becomes purely 
the effect of his perceptions, conceptions and reflections 
on the subject which occupies his attention; (§ 5S6.) and 
this affection or passion, with all the augmentation which 
it may receive from the mental perceptions, conceptions 
and reflections, necessarily governs the conclusions or 
judgment of the mind, in regard to the importance or 
character of the subject contemplated. And this is 
strictly true of all other general nervous excitements, irri- 
tations and depressions, by whatever cause produced. 

§ 539. Hence therefore, so far as this general law of 
the mind is concerned, strict mental and moral sanity re- 
quires that the degree of our propensities, affections, 
emotions or passions, on every subject upon which the 
mind acts, should be exactly equal to the relative impor- 
tance of the subject contemplated, when accurately com- 
pared with all other subjects, and things which exist, or 
of which we ever have any notion: — or should precisely 
correspond with what is really true in the nature of things. 
All departure from this, is a commensurate deviation from 
strict mental and moral sanity. He that desires, loves, 
hates, abhors, or in any manner estimates any thing above 
or below its real worth, is in some degree insane. 

§ 590. This is one of the most important general laws 
of the mind: and the almost universal disregard of it in 
the education of children and youth, is the source of im- 
mense evil to mankind. It requires that in our eaily edu- 
cation, our affections should receive the utmost attention, 


and that, every possible precaution, pains, and measure 
should be taken to prevent the association of an improper 
degree of affection or feeling with any of our perceptions, 
conceptions or reflections: (§575.) that when we think 
of supplying any of the real wants of the body and when 
we think of labor, pleasure, poverty, riches, dress, splen- 
dor, fame, time, eternity, life, death, virtue, vice, or any 
thing else, our affection should always correspond pre- 
cisely with the real importance of the thing contemplated, 
and thereby enable us to estimate each and every thing 
at its true value, and thus preserve a strict mental and 
moral and religious sanity. 

§591. Now then, if we bring together the important 
principles which have been explained and illustrated, we 
shall see the philosophy of insanity, and find that even 
in the worst kinds of madness, the mind is still strictly true 
to the same general laws that always govern the human 
mind in all conditions. (§ 559.) In the first place, we 
have seen (§561.) that, perception consists in the impres- 
sion or sensation received, by the centre of animal percep- 
tion, (§280.) from the action of the visual, auditory, olfac- 
tory, gustatory and tangible properties of external things, 
on our organs of bight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, 
and from the affections which arise from the internal wants 
and conditions of the body: (§ 560.) and that, conception, 
(§ 568.) consists in the distinct and vivid reproduction 
of the sensation of perception, without the real action of 
the properties by which it was first produced; and that, 
the sensations of perception, (§ 559.) being reflected to 
the intellectual faculties, form the thoughts of reflection, 
which are reproduced in what we call memory. (§ 572.) 
We have seen, in the second place, (§ 574.) that the 
succession or order in which our perceptions, concep- 
tions, and reflections take place, establishes an association 

404 graham's lectures on the 

between them, so that certain perceptions, or concep- 
tions, will call up certain thoughts of reflection,— and 
certain thoughts of reflection may produce mental con- 
ception: also, our propensities, feelings, emotions and 
passions are so associated with our perceptions, con- 
ceptions, and thoughts of reflection, (§ 575.) that our 
perceptions, conceptions and reflections will call up our 
appetites, emotions and passions, and these, in return, 
will call up our reflections and conceptions. But, though 
the law of association is an essential and permanent prin- 
ciple in our mental operations, yet the particular associa- 
tions of our thoughts and feelings, may, and do continually 
undergo changes. Our particular perceptions, concep- 
tions, reflections and emotions are, at different times, 
and in different conditions, attended with very different 
associations. We have seen, in the third place, (§ 57G.) 
that a distinct, vivid and complete perception and con- 
ception cannot take place at one and the same instant: — 
though the mind may sometimes, in a measure, imperfect- 
ly attend to both at the same instant: or in other words, 
we may have imperfect visual conceptions and auditory, 
olfactory, gustatory, or tangible perceptions at the same 
time, in a relaxed state of the mind. But when we have a 
distinct and perfect visual perception, we cannot have a 
visual conception at the same instant, and when we have 
a distinct, vivid and complete visual conception we cannot 
have a visual perception, in the slightest degree, at the 
same instant. Thus, when a person has a distinct visual 
perception of a post, or stump, he can have no visual 
conception at the same instant: but if he is excessively 
afraid of meeting and being killed by an Indian, his fears 
may produce a distinct, vivid and complete conception 
of an Indian, occupying the place of the post, but the 
instant the conception takes place, his perception is lost, 


and while the conception continues perfect, he can no 
more see the post nor any thing else, than a blind n an, 
and the Indian which he conceives, is as much a reality 
to his mind as the post was which he perceived: and 
therefore, it is a general law of the mind, which governs it 
in all states and conditions, that our conceptions, when 
distinct, vivid and complete, are as much realities to the 
mind, while they last, as our actual perceptions, and that 
the mind cannot possibly know them from realities until 
they have ceased to be. (§ 578.) We have seen in the 
fourth place, (§ 575.) that all general nervous irritations, 
excitements and depressions, by whatever cause pro- 
duced, call up reflections and conceptions of the mind, 
and are attended with feelings which become identihed, 
in our consciousness, with our mental operations; and are 
greatly augmented by our reflections and conceptions: — 
the degree of intensity always bearing a relation to the 
irritability of the nervous system. And the mind, we 
have seen, (§ 305.) cannot of its own consciousness, dis- 
criminate between those feelings which arise from a pecu- 
liar condition of the nervous system, and which cause our 
pleasing or melancholy thoughts and conceptions, and 
those feelings which are caused entirely by our thoughts, 
conceptions and perceptions; and therefore, when the 
mind acts according to its own consciousness, it always 
and necessarily judges that all our emotions connected 
with our thoughts and conceptions and perceptions, are 
entirely caused by those thoughts, conceptions and per- 
ceptions; and hence, we necessarily attribute to the sub- 
ject on which our mind is exercised, the influence or 
power, by which a lour intellectual operations ar.d our 
feelings in regard to it, are produced: (§ 585.) and there- 
fore, we necessarily estimate the character, and the im- 
portance of that subject to us, by the degree of our feel- 

406 graham's lectures on the 

ings when contemplating it. It is therefore, a general 
law of the mind which governs it in all states and condi- 
tions, that the importance, in our estimation, of any 
subject or thing which we perceive or contemplate, is 
always equal to the degree of feeling, emotion, or passion, 
connected with our perceptions, conceptions and reflec- 
tions on the subject; (§ 5S6.) and consequently, our 
reasonings and conclusions, or judgment, always neces- 
sarily correspond with our feelings. 

§ 592. If then, an individual is laboring under a general 
nervous irritation by which distinct and vivid conceptions 
are continually produced, the morbid sensibilities develop- 
ed by that irritation, and excessively augmented by the 
reaction of the excited mental operations, will greatly 
increase the vividness and energy of his conceptions and 
reflections, and at the same time, necessarily cause him 
to estimate the importance of the subjects and things 
contemplated, according to the degree of feeling which 
attends his mental operations. Continual conceptions 
will therefore not only take the place of perceptions, and 
become realities to his mind, but his conceptions and 
reflections will be attended with a degree of feeling which 
will make the things contemplated of the most absorbing 
interest and pressing importance to him. — New associa- 
tions of thoughts, conceptions, perceptions and emotions 
will soon be formed, which will aggravate and perpetuate 
the unhappy state of things; and if the individual be not 
speedily restored to health, permanent intellectual and 
moral habitudes will necessarily be established. 

§ 593. If the nervous irritation and excitement be 
very great, total insanity and raving madness will be the 
result. But if by slow degrees, the continued or fre- 
quently repeated action of irritating causes, has developed 
a general morbid irritability, rendering the nervous system 


extremely excitable, without keeping up a permanent 
irritation or excitement, then the individual will manifest 
sanity or insanity according as his nervous system is 
composed or excited. In this situation, some individuals 
are, when not excited, equally sane on all subjects, and 
when excited, equally insane on all subjects. Others, 
from some cause or other not difficult to explain, will, 
while under nervous depression, fix the mind on some 
particular subject, and associate their morbid sensibilities 
with it, and necessarily estimate it according to the 
character and degree of those sensibilities, till it becomes 
of absorbing interest to them, (§ 305.) and all the reason- 
ings, conclusions, conceptions, reflections and associations 
of the mind, obey the controlling energy of that interest. 
These, when the nervous irritation is subdued, will be 
perfectly sane, but the moment they are excited by any 
means, the morbid sensibilities developed by the excite- 
ment, being intimately associated with that particular 
subject, will instantly call up the thoughts and conceptions 
of the mind on that subject, and they will manifest 
insanity on that subject alone. But though they manifest 
insanity only on one subject, it is almost impossible, while 
they are under that nervous irritation \vhich causes them 
to manifest the monomania, to fix their attention for an 
instant on any other subject, because their morbid sensi- 
bilities continually cling to the associated thoughts and 
conceptions, and drag them back, as by an irresistible 
instinct, to the all-absorbing subject. And in many 
instances, this subject becomes of such thrilling interest to 
the mind, that the bare naming or suggestion of it, will 
instantly produce a general nervous irritation, developing 
the morbid sensibilities, and all the manifestations of 
monomania; and finally, the associations become so exten- 

403 graham's lectures on the 

sive that every thing external and internal constantly 
suggests the absorbing subject. 

§ 594. We see therefore that, in all species of insanity — 
even the worst cases of madness, the mind is true to the 
laws (§ 559.) which govern it in all states and conditions; 
and that the body alone is at fault, in the morbid irritability, 
excitements, depressions and sensibilities of the nervous 
system; by which thoughts and conceptions of an improper 
kind are continually called up, and the subjects on which 
the mind acts are made of undue importance; and new 
associations and combinations of ideas are formed, and 
new associations of thoughts and feelings are established. 

§ 595. Now the question is, whether according to 
phrenology, the brain is the special seat of this nervous 
irritation, and monomania is owing to a morbid condition 
of a single cerebral organ, or whether the morbid irrita- 
bility and irritation are common to the whole nervous 
system and especially the nerves of organic life, (§228.) 
and monomania and other species of insanity are results of 
that irritation according to the laws which I have ex- 

§ 596. I confess that I am decidedly in favor of the 
latter opinion, for many more reasons than I can assign 
at this time. — I will however adduce a few of them. — In 
the first place, there is not a portion of the brain nor of 
the little brain which has not frequently been destroyed 
in different individuals, without the least manifestation of 
mental derangement, — either particular or general. I well 
know the reply; — that, the organs are double, — and one 
eye may be destroyed without destroying vision, &c; but 
this argument, even if it be tenable, does not meet my 
position. It may answer on the question of the plurality 
of the cerebral organs, but not on that of monomania, as 
caused by the local disease of a particular cerebral organ. 


In the second place, pistol and musket balls have been 
shot into the brain; — swords, tomahawks, and other 
instruments have been struck into the brain in various 
directions, and in some instances so as to wound corre- 
sponding parts of both hemispheres at the same time; 
portions of the brain have bee.i discharged at the wounds 
of the skull. — Surgeons' fingers and instruments have 
been thrust deep into the lobes of the brain, — and all this 
has repeatedly taken place without the slightest manifest- 
ation of particular or general insanity. — In the third place, 
there is no evidence either from post mortem examinations 
or any other pathological facts that either general or 
particular insanity, was ever caused by the disease of a 
particular part of the brain which was strictly local, or 
which did not involve the whole brain in its irritations. — 
On the contrary, all that we know on the subject goes 
decidedly to prove that, uhen diseases of the brain, 
whether caused by external violence or internal disturb- 
ances, are strictly local — when all the morbid affections 
are confined to the particular part diseased, no manifest- 
ations of mental insanity either general or particular, 
ever take place. And it incomparably more frequently 
happens that post mortem examination discloses local 
disease, change of structure, and total destruction of 
particular parts of the brain, where there has been no 
manifestation of mental insanity during life, than where 
there has: — and I contend that, when any degree of 
insanity has attended local disease of the brain, that dis- 
ease has involved the whole brain, at least, and probably 
all the nerves of organic life in its irritations: and I can 
scarcely doubt that, in most cases of this kind, the local 
disease itself, instead of being the cause of the insanity, is 
only an effect of the same cause that produces the 
insanity. I am also confident that the brains of fifty or 

410 .graham's lectures on the 

any other number of those who have terminated life after 
many years of chronic mania cither general or particular, 
will, in the average, exhibit as healthy an appearance, as 
the brains of an equal number of persons who have ter- 
minated life after suffering for an equal number of years, 
under any other form of chronic disease, which involves 
the nervous system of organic life, in an equal extent of 
physiological derangement. — In the fourth plate, both 
general and particular insanity often, if not generally, 
result from irritations which have their special seat in the 
domain of organic life, and perhaps most frequently, in 
the digestive organs. I once attended the dissec ii n of 
the body of a hospital patient, who, according to the 
opinion of his attending physician, — a distinguished medi- 
cal gentleman, — died of religious mania. His mind had 
been totally deranged, and his madness was at times so vio- 
lent that it was fcur.d necessary to ccrfre Lin;; 1 ut the 
single subject which constantly occupied his mind was 
religion, and therefore his case was pronounced religious 
mania. — A number of medical gentlemen and students 
were present at the dissection, and it was observed by 
all that the subject was depressed at those parts cf the 
head, where phrenologists have located veneration, mar- 
vellousness and conscientiousness. On examining the 
subject internally, not the slightest trace cf disease (culd 
be found till we discovered an intus suscepticn of the 
small intestine, attended with indications of a high degree 
of inflammation before death, which extended over a 
considerable portion of the jejunum and duodei.i m. — 
The subject was very recent, so that no important post 
mortem changes could have taken place; li d there was 
nothing to afford us the least ground of doubt thai, both 
the mental mania and the death of the body had been 
caused by the disease seated in the small intestine. 


§ 597. The following is a brief abstract of an interest- 
ing statement given me by an able practisirg physician. — 
" D. C . M. , a well-digger— 33 years old— full habits— was 
attacked with a relax on Monday, Sept. 16, while at 
labor in a well, but continued labor. — Tuesday at noon — 
appetite poor — took little for his dinner beside pickled 
cucumbers, — . nd went to his labor; — relax increased, 
attended with spasms in the muscles of the abdomen and 
lower limbs and some pain in the region of the stomach. 
— At eight o'clock P. M. I was called — found him 
vomiting and purging with spasms — bled him freely — 
spasms relieved — ordered warm water and a cathartic; — 
he threw up the pickles — cathartic operated — after which 
he took an anodyne draught and rested quietly during 
night. — Wednesday he was relieved — some soreness re- 
maining over the stomach — I ordered gruel for diet and 
left him. — Thursday he felt perfectly well, and notwith- 
standing my strict prohibition and his wife's remonstrances, 
he ate a hearty dinner of flesh with some pickled cucum- 
bers, and went into his garden. — In about one hour, 
returned perfectly delirious; and left home for the village 
whe e he wandered about till near six o'clock P. M., 
when he was got home. — His delirium all this time had 
been continually increasing. Two persons were sent in 
haste to call me, but not finding me at home, one of them 
called in Dr. W. — When I arrived Dr. W. was bleeding 
him, under the impression that he was laboring under 
phrenitis. On inquiry I learned from his wife what he 
had done and that he was quite well at noon before he ate 
his dinner: and I told Dr. W. that I suspected the cause 
of the delirium to be in the stomach or bowels. — He 
thought it was in the head, — but as he considered the 
patient mine he left him to me and withdrew. — I imme- 
diately directed measures to evacuate his stomach and 

412 Graham's lectures on the 

bowels. — His symptoms had been very little relieved 
by the bleeding, although it was copious — say thirty 
ounces — and there was no symptom present to indicate 
any derangement of the chylopoietic viscera. On making 
pressure however, over the stomach, he flinched: and on 
drinking a glass of cold water he manifested uneasiness 
at the stomach. There was no suffusion of his face and 
eyes with blood — his eyes were brilliant and their whites 
of a pearl}' whiteness — their expression mild and playful. 
His thirst was incessant. — He would not suffer me to 
examine his tongue. An emetico-cathartic was admin- 
istered which operated several times. — Not b n; a si ed 
with the catharsis, I ordered castor-oil, — supposing 
from the account given by the attendants that the emesis 
had been quite sufficient to evacuate the contents of his 
stomach at least; — for they said he had vomited four or 
five times severely. At ten in the evening his bowels had 
been moved seven or eight times, and he had vomited about 
the same number of times: but his delirium was not 
relieved. He had thrown up a little of what his attendants 
supposed to be a part of his dinner: — and was still a little 
sick at the stomach. Warm water was ordered to be 
taken freely, which brought on full vomiting again. 
After several severe efforts he threw up a mass of what 
proved on inspection to be flesh and pickled cucumbers. 
— From that moment his delirium ceased and he immedi- 
ately recovered." — This medical gentleman is a full 
believer in phrenology. 

§ 598. I might add numerous cases of this kind, 
many of which have fallen under my own observation: — 
but I deem it unnecessary. — Puerperal insanity most 
unquestionably results from irritations located in the 
domain of organic life, and involving the whole nervous 
system. — In short, I fully believe that, at least, ninety- 


nine cases in a hundred of chronic mania, originate in the 
irritations of the nerves of organic life, and that, when 
cerehral disease or change of structure supervenes, it is 
the result of the same cause that produces the maina, and 
is preceded by manifestations of mental insanity. — I 
do not think therefore, that monomania, in any degree, 
proves a plurality of organs in the brain.* Yet I freely 
admit that, all my reasoning being true, there may still be 
a plurality of cerebral organs, — and I do not affirm that 
there is not: — but I contend that it is a matter, which 
yet requires proof: — and whether true or not, the phre- 
nologists have evidently made the contents of the skull too 
exclusively the machinery and source of the mental and 
moral powers and animal propensities. 

§ 599. The brain, whether consisting of a single 
organ, or of a system of organs, is unquestionably the 
seat of intellect, (§ 260.) but it is not equally evident that 
it is the seat of all the animal propensities: — though it 
is possible that each propensity has its special organ of 
perception in the brain. We know that if the nervous 
communication between the stomach and the centre of 
animal perception be cut off", the animaj can have no per- 
ception of hunger; and it is very certain that hunger iy 
a special sense ■(§ 560.) produced by a peculiar physiolo- 
gical condition of the nervous tissue of the stomach and 
perceived by the animal centre; but neither the hemis- 
pheres of the brain nor the lobes of the little brain, are 
essential to the animal perception of hunger or desire 
for food. (§259.) 

§ 600. We are told tliat some men can feel the exer- 

* If the views I have presented be correct, then monomania, r.s well 
as other kinds of insanity, should be regarded and treated as a syrptom 
of general morbid irritability, sensibility and sympathy, rather than aa 
» local disease of a particular portion of the brain. 


414 graham's lectures on the 

cises of particular parts of their brain in their mental 
operations: — but I leave those to believe such things who 
can; — and I ask if ever any one felt his brain to be the 
seat of his propensities and emotions? Have not man- 
kind in all ages, from mere feeling or consciousness, 
always referred these emotions to the epigastric region? 
What lover, or parent, or patriot, in the gush of his emo- 
tions, ever instinctively laid his hand on the back of his 
head and spoke of the ardor of his feelings? (§ 544. 
Nos. 4. 5. 7.) But shall I be asked if I intend to affirm 
or imply that the mind has one seat and the propensities 
and sentiments another, and that the abdominal viscera 
(§ 313.) have an independent power of sensibility within 
themselves and constitute the special organism of the 
animal propensities and moral sentiments? — I reply that, 
I mean simply to affirm that, there is a oneness in the 
nervous system of the human body: — that to a certain 
extent and for certain purposes, the nerves of organic, 
and of animal life constitute a single whole, and that the 
point of unity or centre of perception of this single 
whole, is at, or near the top of the medulla oblongata. 
(§280.) In the domain of organic life, we have seen, 
(§219.) that there are special centres for special pur- 
poses, and a common centre (§218.) which presides 
over the whole internal economy: and so far as the wants 
of the vital economy require the exercise of voluntary 
functions, the animal centre has a perception of those 
wants. (§294.) Or in other words: the vital economy 
manifests those wants by producing certain physiological 
conditions of the tissues of certain organs in its organic 
domain; and the animal centre, by means of nervous con- 
nexions established for the purpose, perceives those physi- 
ological conditions, and thus they become special senses; 
and as strictly so as sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. 


(§ 5G0.) The animal centre then as a unit, does, as it 
were, throw out its feelers into every portion of the 
body internally and externally. By the internal feelers it 
perceives those physiological conditions of the organic 
domain, which being perceived, constitute the sense of 
hunger, thirst, &c; and thus it has cognizance of all 
those internal conditions which directly relate to the 
voluntary powers. — By its external feelers it perceives 
those impressions made by the qualities of external 
things, which constitute the senses of touch, taste, 
smell, hearing and vision: — and thus we are enabled 
to perceive both our internal wants and the external 
supplies. The perceptions of the animal centre are all 
instantly reflected to the intellectual organ or organs 
and produce thoughts of reflection in the manner I have 
described. (§ 569.) Moreover, as we have seen, the 
brain and all the nerves of animal life continually and 
entirely depend on the functional integrity of the nerves 
of organic life for their own functional powers; (§ 209. 
260.) and therefore, though we have no special sense 
of perception by which we are informed of all the func- 
tional aberrations in the domain of organic life, yet the 
brain always sympathizing in the general conditions 
of that domain, we are conscious of the effect without 
knowing the source. (§ 305.) 

§601. On the whole then, though I do not wish to 
be considered as an opposer of the theory of Dr. Gall, 
but am strongly disposed to favor its general principles, 
{§ 553.) yet I must contend that while the brain either 
as a single organ, or as a system of organs, is the special 
seat of thought, the whole nervous system is so intimately 
connected with the brain as its intellectual and moral 
instruments, (§ 600.) and the intellectual and moral 
operations of the brain are so closely associated (§ 575.) 

416 graham's lectures, etc. 

with the conditions and influences of the nerves of organic 
life, (§305.) that the intellectual and moral philosophy 
of man cannot be accurately understood, without a just 
knowledge of the nervous system as a whole; — and that 
the physiological laws with their important relations con- 
stitutionally established in the organic domain, are of 
incomparably more importance to the philosopher, the 
philanthropist and the Christian than the external shape 
of the skull or even the internal structure of the brain. 
For, admitting all that phrenology claims, in regard to 
cerebral organization, it is still true that the intellectual 
and moral character of man, can only be constitutionally 
reached through the medium of the nerves of organic 
life: (§ 306.) — or in other words, it is only by a proper 
attention to the physiological laws of the domain of 
organic life, that we can justly hope to have such an 
effect on the shape and condition of the brain, and other 
parts of the body, as will secure health, wisdom, virtue, 
and happiness to the human race. 

§ G02. My apprehension is that, the intellectual and 
moral science of man, is far more profound and intricate 
than phrenology contemplates, and cannot be fully under- 
stood without a knowledge of all the properties and 
powers of the whole human system: and therefore instead 
of limiting our observations and investigations to the 
head in order to find out what a man is, we should extend 
them over the whole organization and endeavor to ascer- 
tain the particular and the general laws of animal, intel- 
lectual and moral physiology, that we may not only know 
what man is, but also what he ought to be, and how to 
make, and keep him so. 


General Law of relation between the instincts and the voluntary powers 
— Brute reason — General law of relation between the instincts and 
cerebral faculties — 'Man and animals under the same law — 1 it man 
can deprave himself and multiply his wants — Not so other aniu a!s — 
Artificial wants of man act on his cerebral organs the san e as the 
natural wants — .Man's superior intellect sinks hi in deeper in deprav- 
ity — What he would be without moral powers — 1 he end for which 
his moral poweis are established — Ihese, his distinguishing aid most 
exalting attributes — Relations of man to his Creator and to his fellow 
creatures — The Gospel agrees with physiology — M he moral probation 
of man — His moral ability and inability — Conscience, what? — lYoral 
sense innate — Its power — A false or true conscience, how formed — 
Moral sense more or less active, and poweiful — L'fiect of noibid 
sensibility of the nervous system on the moral sense and conscience — 
False conscience, its sources — Man naturally and necessaiily reli- 
gious — Superstition, bigotry, fanaticism — Man's moral responsibility 
— Other moral faculties under the same laws. 

§ 603. We have seen that the nerves of organic life 
preside over all the functions concerned in the nourish- 
ment, growth and general suslenance of the body; (§ 223. 
227. 228.) and that so far as digestion, absorption, res- 
piration, circulation, secretion, excretion, organization, 
the regulation of temperature, &c. are considered, the 
animal, like the vegetable, is, in a state of health, desti- 
tute of consciousness; (§203.) — and, could the animal 
like the vegetable be regularly supplied with nourishment 
without the exercise of voluntary powers, the animal 

413 graham's lectures on the 

body, like the plant, might be developed — attain to its 
full size — live out its constitutional period, and die and 
decay without the least consciousness of its existence. 

§604. But the animal body is constituted with such 
relations to the external world, as require the exercise of 
voluntary powers, to supply the wants of its inte nal 
economy. (§ 209.) Hence it is furnished with an 
apparatus of nerves and organs adapted to its external 
relations. (§ 2S3.) This apparatus (§233.) cons ts 
of the nerves of animal life, which are endowed with 
peculiar properties and powers (§294.) by which the 
animal is made conscious of its existence, and enabled to 
perceive its internal wants, and those external properties 
and things, by which its wants are supplied, (§ 209.) — 
and of the muscles and bones employed in voluntary 
motion, by which it is enabled to approach and seize 
those things which it perceives and wants. (§ 233.) 

§ 605. The internal wants, I have said, (§ 600.) are 
attended with certain physiological conditions of the 
organs, and these conditions being perceived by the 
centre t ; nimal perception ( 2S0.) become the special 
senses of hunger, thirst, &c. (§ 599.) — In the lowest 
orders of animals (§209.) the animal consciousness is 
extremely feeble, and the animal per epti ns and volun- 
tary functions are purely instinctive and rudimental. The 
animal is scarcely elevated above the vegetable. (§ 209.) 
— As we ascend the scale of animal existence, we find 
animal consciousness and perception more and more vivid 
and powerful, and the voluntary faculties more and more 
developed and active. But from the lowest to the highest 
orders of animals, including man, it is a universal law of 
the animal kingdom, that the domain of organic life mani- 
fests its wants to the centre of animal perception, in such 


a manner as to produce a strong propensity in the animal 
to exercise its voluntary powers for the supply of these 
wants. — These propensities are called instincts. 

§60G. In many of the lower orders of animals, the 
voluntary powers are purely the instruments of the animal 
instincts. — Without an act of reasoning or of reflecticn, 
the animal is moved by the sense of its wants, to exercise 
its voluntary powers in such a manner as to satisfy the 
propensity, and in obeying its internal instinct, it instinct- 
ively employs its instinctive powers of externa] relation, 
connected with its voluntary powers, and by smell, taste 
and other perceptive senses, feels out the substances 
adapted to its wants, and thus fulfils the final causes of 
its organization. — The voluntary powers of the higher 
orders of animals, are equally obedient to the instinctive 
wants or propensities, but their exercise is attended with 
something more of thought and reasoning. — The rudi- 
ments of brute reason are probably to be found in all the 
verlebrated animals; — but they are more and more de- 
veloped as we ascend the scale, towards man. And 
there is little ground of doubt that the reasoning powers 
of animals bear a precise relation, as to their extent, to 
the developments of the brain. — The monkey tribes, 
tha elephant, the dog, the fox, the horse, the swine and 
several other animals, give the most unquestionable evi- 
dences of their powers of reason and reflection. Nev- 
ertheless, whatever be the extent of the powers of brute 
reason in animals, those powers are always perfectly 
subservient to the instinctive wants of the body. All 
the reasoning and reflection ever manifested by the horse, 
dog, elephant, &c. are excited by their instinctive pro- 
pensities, and are only exercised in conformity to those 
propensities, or for the purpose of gratifying them: — and. 
never for the purpose of resisting or restraining them. — 

420 graham's lectures on the 

It is therefore a general law of the animal kingdom, that 
the cerebral faculties, whatever they may be, are subser- 
vient to the wants of the body: — and all the intellectual 
and voluntary powers naturally concur with the animal 
propensities and seek their gratification. 

§ 607. It is, as I have stated, (§ 530.) entirely certain 
that, whatever be the substratum of the sensorial power 
of the human brain, it resides in, and acts through the 
organized matter of the nervous substance, during our 
present state of existence, precisely the same as if it were 
merely a p operty of that vitalized matter, and all its pow- 
ers and manifestations are subject to precisely the same 
laws as govern the powers and manifestations of vitality. 
Hence, so far as the instinctive wants and animal propen- 
sities, and their relation to, and influence upon the intel- 
lectual and voluntary powers, are considered, man is in the 
same general predicament with the lower animals: — all his 
internal wants, and propensities, appeal to his intellectual 
and voluntary faculties, and excite their action, and natu- 
rally cause them to concur with, and seek the satisfaction 
of the bodily desires. And, although there is an almost 
infinite distance between the reason of man and that of 
the highest order of the lower animals, yet the philosophy 
of his reasoning is precisely the same as that of the ele- 
phant, the horse, &c, and consequently it is governed 
by the same general laws. But man's superior intellect- 
ual and voluntary powers not only increase his ability to 
supply his bodily wants in all the varying circumstances 
of seasons and conditions, but also increase his power of 
multiplying those wants, by his artificial modes of supply- 
ing them, and by the artificial circumstances of social 
and civic life. 

§ 603. The horse and ox and other animals, like man, 
have the special sense of thirst, or natural want of water, 


but they have neither the reasoning nor the voir ita f 
powers to supply this want with any thing else but water, 
and therefore, from birth to death and from gene ration 
to generation, they only feel the same natural and simple 
want, and are always satisfied when that want is supplied 
with good water; but out of this simple and single want 
of his body, man generates a thousand artificial wants, 
which become ingrafted upon his body and exert their 
influence upon his intellectual and voluntary powers in 
precisely the same manner as his original instinctive wants 
do, and always with a more despotic and imperious ener- 
gy; and with a continual and powerful tendency to excess. 
The same is true of the special sense of hunger: in the 
lower animals, it is always equally simple and natural 
unless depraved by the artificial training of man; but man 
multiplies this simple, natural want into a thousand artificial 
ones, which exert a controlling and arbitrary influence upon 
his intellectual and voluntary powers: — and in the same 
manner, every other natural want and sense of the human 
body, are multiplied by man to the extent of his capabili- 
ties; (§ 21.) — and out of these innumerable wants which 
are ingrafted upon the natural propensities and sensibilities 
of his body, spring a multitude of others, in connexion 
with the social and civil institutions and customs of socie- 
ty. These thousands of artificial wants soon come to be 
so intimately and completely associated with the natural 
wants of the body, that few know the difference between 
the natural and the artificial: and all of them, with differ- 
ent degrees of energy and despotism, press their demands 
upon the intellectual and voluntary powers, urging or 
compelling those decisions of the mind, and those exer- 
cises of the voluntary powers, by which they can be sat- 
isfied or indulged: — and upon precisely the same princi- 
ples of intellectual and moral philosophy as govern the 

422 graham's lectures on the 

action of the original instinctive wants of the body, upon 
the cerebral faculties. (§575. 586.) 

§ 009. But in thus multiplying his wants, man necessa- 
rily, not only depraves the natural instincts, propensities 
and sen'si ) lities of his body, and increases the force and 
despotism of his wants upon his intellectual and voluntary 
powers, but he also, impairs his mental faculties, and 
deteriorates his whole nature, and tends to the destruction 
of mind and body. 

§ G10. Hence therefore, were man only elevated 
above the other animals by superior intellectual and vol- 
untary powers, his natural elevation would answer no 
other end than to increase the distance of his fall a. id the 
depth of his degradation and misery. He would, indeed, 
be the vilest and most wretched of all terrestrial things. 
With all his intellectual and voluntary powers subservient 
simply to the supply of his bodily wants, and those wants 
multiplied beyond number, and increased continually in 
despotism and depravity, his superior powers would only 
be a superior ability to make himself miserable, and to 
destroy himself and others. His reasoning powers would 
be employed with little more than the excitements of his 
appetites and feelings, and in securing the means of his 
self-indulgence, and in devising the crafty or the violent 
measures by which he could procure or destroy whatever 
his lusts or passions demanded ; — his judgment would be 
but the dictates of his propensities; — desire would consti- 
tute his only principle of action; and this would lead him 
downward, deeper and deeper into the abyss of animal 
depravity, and subjugate his intellectual powers to more 
and more degrading and debasing slavery to his sensuali- 
ty. Never would his reason remonstrate with his pas- 
sions;— never would his judgment condemn his indul- 
gence: strength would constitute the right of precedence, 


and power, the law of possession! and man would prey 
upon his fellow creatures, with an energy and cruelty, by 
so much the fiercer and more destructive and terrible 
than the most ferocious of other animals, as he possessed 
superior intellectual and voluntary powers to deprave 
himself, and to devise and carry into execution more 
crafty and skilful plans of destruction. 

§611. To prevent this natural tendency of man's 
animal nature, and to excite his intellectual powers to 
elevated and extensive efforts in the attainments of know- 
ledge and wisdom, a wise and benevolent Creator has 
endowed him with moral powers and made him the sub- 
ject of moral government. 

§ G12. Thus God has created matter and impressed 
upon it those primary laws (§ S9.) by which it enters into 
the various forms of the inorganic world, and by which 
those forms are governed as individual masses: — and 
upon the common matter of the inorganic world he has 
superinduced still higher laws of action and constitution, 
(§110.) by which it is made to enter into the ar- 
rangements and forms of living organized bodies: — and 
upon organized matter he has superinduced still higher 
laws of constitution by which living bodies are endowed 
with a consciousness of their existence and with the 
power of perceiving their internal wants, and of perceiving 
and procuring the external supplies: (§ 114.138.) — and 
upon animal consciousness and sensibility he has superin- 
duced still higher laws of constitution by which the animal 
is endowed with intellectual powers: (§ 165.) — and finally, 
Upon the associated animal nature and intellectual powers 
of man, God has superinduced moral powers. — It is there- 
fore, the moral nature of man which gives him his highest 
elevation in the scale of being, and places him at the 
greatest distance from his fellow animals and nearest to 
angels or to devils. 


§613. By this wonderful union of intellectual and 
moral powers with organized matter, man alone, of all 
terrestrial beings, is brought into a twofold relation to his 

Creator. In his material nature, man, in common with 

all other material forms and substances, holds a fixed 
relation to his Creator as the great, first, and continu- 
ally efficient Cause by which matter and all material 
forms and properties and powers are what they are. 
This relation only embraces the natural attributes of 
Q oc \. — In his moral nature man holds a fixed relation to 
his Creator, as an infinitely true and just and benevolent 
and good and holy Being and Judge and Father. But 
as there is of necessity, an essential and perfect harmony 
between the natural and the moral attributes of God, so 
is there a perfect harmony between the natural and moral 
relations which man holds to his Creator: so that, the 
perfect fulfilment of the one requires the perfect fulfil- 
ment of the other. That is, the constitutional laws 
which govern the living, organized body of man, and on 
which all its physiological properties and powers and 
interests depend, harmonize most perfectly with the con- 
stitutional laws which govern his intellectual and moral 
nature. So that, the highest and best condition of the 
human body requires a perfect obedience, not only of its 
own physiological laws, as living organized matter, but 
also of the constitutional laws of the intellectual and mor- 
al nature associated with it: and the highest and best 
condition of man's intellectual and moral nature requires 
the perfect obedience, not only of its own constitutional 
laws, but also of the constitutional law s of the body as 
living organized matter: — and consequently, the violation 
of the constitutional laws of the one, is necessarily attend- 
ed with an infraction of the constitutional laws of the 
other. Hence therefore, no moral or civil law or reli- 


gious doctrine can be adapted to the highest and best 
condition of man's moral nature which is not strictly con- 
sistent with ihe physiological laws of his body: — and on 
the other hand, no bodily habit, indulgence, or regimen 
can be adapted to the highest and best condition of his 
body, which is not strictly consistent with the constitu- 
tional laws of his intellectual and moral nature. And it 
is a deeply interesting and incontrovertible fact, worthy 
of all consideration, that if one who had the most perfect 
knowledge of the physiological laws of the human body, 
should draw up a code of moral and religious laws for 
man, which should in every principle and point be strict- 
ly conformable to the constitutional laws of man's bodily 
and moral nature, and most philosophically adapted to the 
condition and relations of man, he could not possibly 
produce a code more wisely fitted to the constitutional 
truth, and to the highest and best condition of human 
nature even in this world, than is contained in the New 
Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

§ G14. The animal nature of man may be considered 
as the basis of his human existence. — Its passions, its 
propensities, its desires, with all the artificial wants that 
are ingrafted upon the bodily instincts and sensibilities, 
constitute the primary and principal elements of activity 
to his mental powers, and tend continually to cause his 
rationality to concur with his animal indulgence, or to 
consent to, and provide for the gratifications of all his sen- 
sual and selfish appetites and desires, both natural and 
artificial. (§ GOS.) And this is what the apostle Paul, who 
was one of the most profound philosophers that ever lived, 
calls the minding of the flesh; and with equal physiolo- 
gical and moral and religious truth, he declares that the 
minding of the flesh is death: — for as we have seen, 
(§ 609.) it inevitably leads, if unrestrained, to the speedy 

426 graham's lectures on the 

destruction of the body and of the mental and moral 
powers, and to the extermination of the race. But the 
moral powers which God has constitutionally established 
in human nature, (§ 611.) come in to regulate the caroal 
nature of man, with reference to moral law, which, as we 
have seen, (§613.) perfectly harmonizes with the phyair 
oiogical laws of man's nature. — And the whole bearing 
of moral law on human nature, is to hold the carnal pas- 
sions, propensities and desires, (§608.) in perfect sub- 
jection to a rationality which is enlightened and govern- 
ed by moral truth. 

§615. Moral truth says — thou shalt love that su- 
premely which is intrinsically most excellent and worthy 
of being loved, — which is the moral character of God, — 
and which, being supremely loved, will not only secure 
thy own highest and best condition, but the supreme love 
of which, in thee, is most perfectly compatible with, and 
conducive to the highest and best condition of thy fellow 
creatures: — but carnal nature says — I will love that 
supremely to which I have the strongest intrinsic pro- 
pensity, which is self-indulgence. — Here then, is the 
conflict of man's moral probation: — between his carnal 
nature, with all its natural and acquired wants and appe- 
tites, (§603.) and God's moral truth: — for the flesh 
lusteth against the spirit of truth, and the spirit of truth 
strive th against the flesh: — and therefore, the minding of 
the flesh, beyond the true and proper fulfilment of the 
constitutional laws of human nature — or beyond the true 
and proper supply of the real wants of the body, is, of 
necessity in the nature of things, contrary to supreme 
love to God; for it is not obedience to the laws of God; 
neither indeed can be: because it is a direct transgres- 
sion of those laws. (§613.) 

§ 616. The moral nature of man is established by the 


Creator to preside over, and control this conflict, and is 
made responsible at the bar of God's eternal and immu- 
table truth, for the issue; and necessarily liable to the 
penalties which result from the infraction of God's laws. 
— On the one hand, man's carnal nature is continually 
pressing for indulgence, and exerting its seductive influ- 
ences on the rational powers, to draw them into concur- 
rence with its propensities and appetites; — while on the 
otlvr hand, the moral truth of God, which perfectly har- 
monizes with the natural truth of God (§ 613.) constitu- 
tionally established in the physiological laws of the human 
bodv, demands of man's moral nature, the entire subju- 
gation of his carnal passions, propensities and appetites 
to the requirements of moral truth, and declares that he 
who desireth to transgress, is essentially guilty of the 


§ 617. The whole controversy of the schools con- 
cerning man's moral ability and inability, may therefore 
be resolved simply to this, — namely, his ability to will 
and act in obedience to moral truth, subject as his intel- 
lectual and moral powers are, to the influences of his 
carnal nature. (§608.) — His moral ability is always 
precisely equal to the degree in which his moral powers 
hold his carnal nature in subjection to moral truth: — and 
his inability is always precisely equal to the degree of 
influence which his carnal nature exerts upon his intellec- 
tual and moral powers, in opposition to moral truth. — 
The more the intellectual and moral powers of man, are 
under the control of his carnal nature, the greater is his 
moral inability to perceive, understand and comply with 
the requirements of moral truth: — and therefore whatever 
lends to deprave and multiply the carnal passions, pro- 
pensities and appetites of man, or, in any degree to ex- 
cite them and increase their power, does necessarily and 

42S graham's lectures on tiif 

directly increase his moral inability to perceive, under- 
stand and comply with the requirements of moral truth, 
and to obey the constitutional laws of his nature. 

§ 618. Let us now recapitulate for a moment, for the 
purpose of bringing our argument to a focus. — Man, then, 
has an animal nature with constitutional laws common to 
the elephant, the horse, the ox and other animals. 
(§ 605.) He is endowed with voluntary and intellectual 
powers immeasurably superior to other animals, but 
established with the same relations to the bodily wants 
and appetites (§ 605.) and with the same philosophy of 
action as those of the monkey, the elephant, the dog, 
&c. (§607.) The lower animals have neither the 
intellectual nor the voluntary powers to violate the con- 
stitutional laws of their natures, to any serious extent, 
and thus deprave themselves, deteriorate their natures 
and exterminate their species, (§ 608.) and therefore they 
do not require a knowledge of the constitutional laws of 
their nature, and of the laws of relation which grow out 
of them. But man has both the voluntary and intellec- 
tual powers and the natural propensity to violate the con- 
stitutional laws of his nature, and thus deprave, deteriorate 
and destroy himself. The good of man as an individual 
and as a species therefore, requires that he should both 
know and obey the constitutional laws of his nature: and 
accordingly God has endowed man with moral powers, 
(§611.) which are constituted with fixed and precise 
relations to his animal nature on the one hand, and to the 
moral character of God, on the other: — and the office 
of these moral powers is to prompt man to know and to 
obey the concordant, constitutional laws of his animal 
and moral nature, (§ 614.) and thus secure his own high- 
est good and happiness, and promote the highest good 
and happiness of his fellow creatures, and thereby fulfil 


the divine scheme of benevolence which has, in the con- 
stitutional nature of things, identified the supreme glory 
of God with the highest good and happiness of man. 

§ 619. To quicken man's moral powers to the faith- 
ful and unremitting performance of this important duty, 
God has from time to time addressed to him such moral 
instructions, and placed before him such motives, as his 
moral and intellectual condition fitted him to receive. — In 
the morning twilight of the intellectual and moral world, 
when man's moral perceptions were feeble and indistinct, 
and his knowledge was limited to sensible things, the 
motives which God placed before him to induce him to 
know and obey the constitutional laws of his nature, were 
bodily health, and long life and wordly prosperity and 
honor. But when God, by the continued operations of 
his great scheme of benevolence, had prepared the way 
for the introduction of a higher dispensation of motives, 
he brought life and immortality to light, and placed before 
man not only bodily health and long life and happiness 
in this world, but also moral purity and god-like excel- 
lence here, and eternal life and glory beyond the grave, 
as motives to induce him to know and obey the consti- 
tutional laws of his nature. 

Now then, let us endeavor to understand the true nature 
and philosophy of man's moral powers. 

§ 620. All mankind are conscious of possessing an 
attribute or power which, in our language, is called the 
conscience. But theologians, metaphysicians and phi- 
losophers have seemed to be quite as much in the dark 
as the unlearned multitude, concerning the real nature 
and power of the conscience. Some tell us that, it is 
that faculty of the soul which discriminates between right 
and wrong; — or which approves of what is right and dis- 
approves of what is wrong,— so far at least, as to estab- 

430 graham's lectures on the 

lish the great lines of demarkation between right and wrong 
—between vice and virtue. Others, carrying this view still 
farther, assert that, the conscience is in every breast, 
an innate rule of right which each individual is bound to 
obey, and by which, each may measure his own actions; 
and therefore, that in all matters of conscience, man 
has a natural and inalienable right to entire and unre- 
stricted liberty. — Others, again, perceiving that the con- 
sciences of different persons under different circum- 
stances and with different educations, sanction and 
enforce things entirely different, and diametrically 
opposite, are led to believe and assert that, conscience 
is wholly a result of education, and therefore, no crite- 
rion of right, or virtue. 

§ 621. But these opinions are all founded on erro- 
neous notions of the nature and powers of man's moral 
faculties. — Every human being who is not an idiot, and 
who is old enough to understand the exercises of his own 
mental and moral powers, has something within him, 
which, when excited, acts detcrminately, — and definitely 
approves or disapproves of specific moral actions and 
qualities. — This is what all men call Conscience. But 
this is neither a simple nor an innate power or faculty of 
the soul: — it is of a complex character, and as such, 
wholly the result of education; — and is with no degree 
of certainty, a rule of right. 

§ 622. It is not however, more certain that the intel- 
lectual faculties of man are innate, than it is that, the 
moral sense is an innate power — a constitutional prin- 
ciple in the moral nature of man. But this is not to be 
confounded with the conscience, in correct philosophical 
reasoning. It is in no degree, the result of education; 
nor can it be, in any manner, educated, except, in 
being rendered more or less susceptible, and active and 


powerful: — but still, it always necessarily remains the 
same simple moral sense: — the same in the Pagan, the 
Jew, the Mahomedan and the Christian! — the same in a 
Hottentot, a Newton, a Paul! — the same simple moral 
sense which informs no man what is right or what is 
wrong: and has no more power than the sense of hunger 
has, to discriminate, even on the broadest grounds, 
between right and wrong — between vice and virtue. — It 
is ever, and under all possible, circumstances, the same 
simple moral sense, out of which grows the conscious- 
ness that there is a distinction between right and wrong, 
and a consciousness of moral responsibility, and, when 
excited to perform its function, its definite, determinate 
and only language is — " be right! — be right!" 
— but what that right is, it has no power to ascertain. 
For this, it depends entirely on the intellectual faculties, 
which collectively, in their mental unity, I call the 
understanding. Whatever the understanding, acting 
under the influence of the moral sense, fully determines 
to be true, or right, the moral sense receives as right; 
and afterwards, when excited in relation to the same 
thing, this complex power resulting from the co-opera- 
tion of the moral sense and understanding, prompts the 
soul to obey it, as right. — Thus, suppose the preposition 
be laid before the mind of a man, totally uneducated in 
morality and religion, and who knows nothing of the cus- 
toms and opinions of mankind, that it is his moral duty 
to kill his parents when they become so old and infirm 
as not to be able to support themselves. His moral 
sense can neither intuitively nor by any process of reason- 
ing tell him whether the proposition is true or false. — 
His understanding only can examine and weigh the evi- 
dence in the case and come to a conclusion or decision 
as to the truth or falsity of the proposition. But while 

432 graham's lectures on the 

the understanding is doing this, the moral sense ran, more 
or less energetically and continually, exert an influence 
upon it, which says — " be right! — be right!" — and thus 
cause the understanding to examine and weigh the evi- 
dence in the case, with greater attention, diligence and 
scrupulosity. — And if by any means, the understanding, 
acting under this influence of the moral sense, is brought 
to the full conclusion that the proposition is true, the 
moral sense has no power in itself to test the accuracy 
of the conclusion; and therefore, necessarily receives it 
-as true: — and this conclusion, or mixed result of the 
simultaneous action of the moral sense on the under- 
standing and of the understanding on the proposition, 
becomes a definite and determinate moral sentiment of 
the soul, which is so intimately associated with the moral 
sense, as to be instantly called up as a dictate or deter- 
minate impulse of the moral sense, whenever this simple 
power is excited to action in reference to the same prop- 
osition. — And this definite and determinate moral sen- 
timent, is what all men call the conscience. 

§ 623. We see then, that in this supposed case, the 
moral sense of the individual, cannot possibly tell him 
whether it is right or wrong for him to kill his parents 
when they become old and helpless. It can only tell him 
to be right. — But the conscience formed in the manner 
I have described, (§ 622.) tells him definitely and deter- 
minately that it is right and duty for him to kill his parents 
when they become old and helpless. 

§ 624. Now change the circumstances of this individ- 
ual, and let the same proposition again be presented to 
his mind, and let his moral feelings be excited on the 
subject, and all the real evidence in the case presented 
to him in a true light;— his conscience will come up at 
once, and say definitely and determinately, " it is right to 


kill the parents," &c. But if the new circumstances 
and new array of evidence, can shake his confidence in 
the former conclusion of his understanding, and cause 
him to doubt the correctness of it, the voice of his con- 
science will become feebler and feebler as the strength of 
his doubts increases, while the voice of his moral sense, 
with more and more energy and importunity, will say " lie 
right! — be right!" — and if under this influence of his 
moral sense, and in view cf all the evidence which is now 
presented to him, his undeisiandiig ccmes fully and con- 
fidently to the conclusion that the proposition is false, 
and that it is wrong to kill his aged and infirm parents, — 
and right and duly to protect and cherish them, then this 
conclusion will become a definite and deieiminate moral 
sentiment of his soul, taking the place of the former one. 
And now his conscience will deteiminately tell him that, 
it is wrong to kill his aged paients. So that, the con- 
science of the same individual may at one time tell him 
it is right — and at another time, that it is wrong to kill 
his aged and helpless parents.. — Yet in all this, the mcral 
sense undergoes no change. Its simple, single, cnly and 
unerring cry is always, when excited to action — u be 
right!— be right!" 

§ 625. But the moral sense, I have said, may be cul- 
tivated as to the degree of its energy or influence. — And 
in this respect, its laws are the same as the common 
physiological laws of the body. It may always be ex- 
tremely feeble from want cf prcper exercise, so that, it 
will never with energy, urge the understanding to ascer- 
tain the truth on any point. It may also, be greatly 
impaired and almost totally obliterated, by the continued 
violations of the constitutional laws of human nature. 
(§613.) Whatever, in food or drink or any other bodily 
indulgence or habit, impairs the sensorial power of thener- 

434 graham's lectures on the 

vous system, (§607.) commensurately impairs the moral 
sense ; and all intentional violation of the constitutional laws 
of man's moral nature — every voluntary departure from 
strict righteousness, truth, holiness, &c. necessarily im- 
pairs the moral sense; and when these causes are com- 
bined, and their action continued, they often so completely 
blunt or deaden the moral sense, that the apostle Paul 
justly compares the effect to the searing of a hot iron. — 
On the other hand, the moral sense may, by much exer- 
cise and careful cultivation, be rendered exceedingly 
vigorous and active and delicate, so that, it will on all 
occasions, and in every — even the most inconsiderable 
moral action and operation of the mind, energetically and 
healthfully urge the understanding to decide aright, — to 
act aright. — But the moral sense may also become ex- 
cessively and morbidly active and acute, — causing the 
most intense moral suffering, and even producing mono- 
mania or general insanity. Whatever in food or drink, 
or any other bodily habit or indulgence, produces a gen- 
eral morbid irritability and sensibility in the nervous sys- 
tem, (§ 5S1.) always tends to produce a morbid excess 
in the moral sense of conscientious people, filling the 
mind with unhealthy scruples and remorseful anguish and 
perhaps despair; and sometimes rouses it up in most 
fearful energy, in those who have never before attended 
to its wholesome monitions, and fills them with the most 
terrible remorse and horror! Religious exhortations and 
appeals, also, which are of an impassioned and terrific 
character, and which greatly excite the moral sense, 
without properly enlightening the understanding, always 
tend to produce a morbid excess in the moral sense, and 
frequently cause partial or total insanity; and very rarely 
lead to real and permanent good. 

§626. When the moral sense is feeble -and inactive, 


it does not throw a proper degree of influence on the 
operations of the understanding, but leaves it either to 
neglect, or carelessly to examine, or unfairly weigh evi- 
dences, and thus come to erroneous conclusions, and 
form a false conscience. — When, on the other hand, the 
moral sense by any means, is rendered morbidly active 
and energetic, it throws so vehement and distracting an 
influence on the understanding, as to impair the accuracy 
of its operations, and exceedingly weaken or totally de- 
stroy its confidence in its own conclusions; and thus the 
mind is kept in a distressing state of incertitude and per- 
plexity, and conscientious doubt, which only increase 
the insane energy of the moral sense. And in this man- 
ner the keenest and most excruciating excess of human 
misery is frequently produced. 

§ 627. In all cases when a morbid nervous irritation 
and sensibility attend the exercises of the moral sense, 
the diseased nervous sensibility becomes identified, in 
the mental consciousness, with the moral sense, (§ 305. 
575.) and thus increases the unhealthy energy of its 
influence upon the understanding and proportionately in- 
creases in the estimation of the mind, the importance of 
the subject, in reference to which the moral sense is ex- 
cited. (§ 580.) 

§ 628. Having thus ascertained the precise nature and 
power of the moral sense and of the conscience, and to 
what extent a want of perfect integrity in the moral sense 
is conducive to an erroneous or unsound conscience, I 
proceed to the consideration of other sources of a false 

§629. We have seen, (§622.) that the moral sense 
ever and only says, "be right! — be right!" — and has in 
itself, no power to determine what right is — but depends 
entirely on the understanding to ascertain what is right; 

436 graham's lectures on the 

and whatever the understanding fully determines to be 
right, when acting under the influence of the moral sense, 
the moral sense necessarily receives and enforces as right. 
If therefore, by any means, the understanding is fully 
brought to an erroneous conclusion on any moral or reli- 
gious subject, the conscience on that subject necessarily 
becomes fallacious. — Now there are several sources of 
erroneous conclusion in the understanding besides those 
which I have already named. — Much has been said about 
intuitive knowledge: — but I apprehend there is very little 
meaning in the term. Except in the perception of our 
simple ideas, there is always, necessarily more or less of 
reasoning in every operation and exercise of the mind. 
(§ 55G.) The understanding therefore, always arrives 
at its conclusions, much as a jury arrive at their verdict. 
When any subject or proposition is brought before the 
mind, there must be some evidences for or against the 
truth of the proposition, and perhaps both. — It is the 
business of the intellectual faculties to examine these evi- 
dences with proper care, and to come to a conclusion 
in the affirmative or negative of the proposition according 
to the true force or weight of evidence in the case. But 
if the true evidence in the case be neglected, or but 
lightly and carelessly considered, or if but a small part 
of the true evidence in the case be examined, or if the 
evidence be unfairly presented, or if false evidence be 
presented as true, the understanding, even under the 
promptings of the moral sense, may come to erroneous 
conclusions, and fully determine that to be true or right, 
which is not really so, and thus a fallacious conscience 
will be formed. 

§ 630. Furthermore, we have seen (§ 575. 605.) that, 
the intellectual faculties are constitutionally and intimately 
associated with the natural instincts, propensities, and 


appetites of the bod) r ; and that the thousands of artificial 
wants, propensities and appetites, which are ingrafted 
upon the natural instincts and sensibilities of the body, 
act upon the intellectual faculties in precisely the same 
manner as the natural instincts and propensities do, but 
with more vehemence and despotism. (§ 608.) We have 
seen also that, it is a general law, common to man and the 
lower animals, that the mental and voluntary powers 
always naturally obey the bodily propensities and appe- 
tites, (§ 606. 607.) and seek to supply the bodily wants. 
Hence all the carnal influences of the human body, and 
especially those which result from the depravation of the 
natural instincts and sensibilities, (§ 608.) such as every 
lust for every kind of intoxicating and every stimulating 
drink and substance, and every appetite and desire in- 
grafted upon the body, or growing out of the artificial 
habits and circumstances of society, are directly adverse 
to correct perceptions, reasonings and conclusions of the 
mind on all moral and religious subjects: — *and therefore, 
it is a general law that the ability of the understanding to 
ascertain moral and religious truth, in view of facts and 
evidences presented, and accessible to it, always corre- 
sponds with the physiological and moral purity of the indi- 
vidual. (§ 617.) Thus suppose a man to be strongly 
addicted to the use of tobacco, and suppose we should 
attempt to convince that man that it is morally and natu- 
rally wrong to chew tobacco, or use it in any way as a 
means of sensual gratification. Now in the first place, 
that man's tobacco has impaired the delicacy of his moral 
sense. (§ 625.) In the second place, it has in some de- 
gree, impaired the nice powers of the understanding to 
perceive moral truth. (§ 609. In the third place, it has 
established in the physiological economy of his body, an 
appetite whose despotic and often irresistible influence 

433 graham's lectures on the 

upon the intellectual and voluntary powers, vehemently 
urges and even absolutely compels the understanding and 
will to comply with its demands. (§ 603.)-— When 
therefore, we attempt to convince him that, it is morally 
and naturally wrong for him to use tobacco, we shall in 
the first place, find it extremely difficult to reach his 
moral sense through the opposing energy of his lust. In 
the second place, his lust will not suffer his mind to fix its 
attention seriously and earnestly on the evidence which 
we present, but will keep it constantly employed in con- 
templating the importance of the gratification to his hap- 
piness, or in seeking for arguments to defend the gratifi- 
cation, or for evasions and subterfuges from the force of 
our evidence. In the third place, if we succeed in 
rousing his moral sense, and fixing his attention, and 
forcing our evidence upon him, his lust will not suffer his 
understanding to weigh that evidence with impartiality 
and honesty; but will compel him to weigh it in unequal 
scales, like one who weighs the gold he receives, in a 
pair of iron scales with a powerful magnet lying conceal- 
ed, under the scale which contains his weights, and 
drawing it down with such a force as to make the gold 
appear of no weight at all. His lust will not suffer him 
to measure our evidence by any standard of truth, but 
iorce him to measure it by its own despotic and vehe- 
ment energy, and thus make it appear as nothing. Or if 
we happen to approach him at a moment when his lust 
is slumbering in the stupefaction of a recent debauch, 
or if by any means, we can, for a moment, succeed in 
silencing his lust, and by the assistance of his excited 
moral sense, and the force of our evidence, turn the bal- 
ance of his understanding in favor of truth, and convince 
him that it is wrong for him to use tobacco, scarcely 
shall we cease to urge our evidence directly upon his 


attention, before his reviving lust will rise up with clam- 
orous and impetuous importunity, or irresistible imperi- 
ousness, and bring his understanding to the full conclusion 
that it is not orally wrong fo him to use tobacco, — and 
thus he will establish a fallacious conscience, and return 
like a swine to the mire, and like a dog to his vomit. — In 
this manner, every lust and appetite, natural and ingiafted, 
(§ G08.) according to the energy of its influence en the 
intellectual and voluntary powers, tends to produce erro- 
neous conclusions in the understanding, and thus produce 
an unsound or fallacious conscience. 

§631. We find therefore, that the carnal influence of 
the human body on the intellectual and moral powers, 
(§614.) is the grand, primary source of erroneous con- 
clusions and of a fallacious conscience. And this impor- 
tant and incontrovertible principle in mental and moral 
physiology, is explicitly and fully asserted by the apostle 
Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews. He exhorts the 
Hebrew proselytes to Christianity, to prepare themselves 
to contemplate and understand and receive and love and 
obey the simple and pure and sublime doctrines of the 
Gospel, by having their hearts sprinkled from an evil or 
unsound conscience: — or, by being cleansed from all 
those lusts and appetites and prejudices which have led 
their understandings to erroneous conclusions, and thus 
established an unsound conscience in them; and unfitted 
them to receive the Gospel in all its naked and beautiful 
simplicity of truth. 

§ 632. If therefore, by any means, the understanding, 
under the promptings of the moral sense, is brought to an 
•erroneous conclusion, and fully determines that to be true, 
or right, which is really erroneous or wrong, the moral 
sense necessarily receives it as true, or right, and prompts 
the soul to obey it as right; and thus man acts conscien- 

440 Graham's lectures on the 

tiously wrong. — And this is what Jesus meant when, 
seeing the Jews acting with great zeal conscientiously 
wrong, he said to them, " If your eye be unsound, your 
whole body is full of darkness." — When an unsound 
or fallacious conscience is once established it is next to 
impossible to remove it; especially in any matter which 
relates to the carnal propensities and appetites. Because 
the moral sense has in itself, no means of testing the 
soundness of the conscience, and no way of removing an 
unsound conscience but by the correct operations and 
conclusions of the understanding: and the unsound con- 
science being the advocate of the carnal propensities and 
appetites which begot it, quiets the moral sense, and 
prevents its acting on the understanding to excite it to a 
new examination of evidence and to bring it to new con- 
clusions: and therefore man has, in himself, no disposi- 
tion to reject that, as erroneous and wrong, which he 
conscientiously believes to be true and right: — and if 
others attempt to convince him that it is wrong, his 
unsound conscience instantly interposes itself between 
such attempts and his moral sense, and keeps that quiet, 
while his carnal lusts rise up to prevent the mind from 
attending to the evidence presented, or to force the 
understanding to weigh the evidence in unequal scales; 
and all the while they justify themselves by the unsound 
conscience which is their offspring: — and hence, as a 
general rule, it is impossible by any means to remove an 
unsound conscience until the carnal lusts and inordinate 
appetites and prejudices are subdued. And it was in 
view of this great difficulty of removing an unsound con- 
science, and of the great evils to which such a conscience 
leads, that Jesus declared to the deluded Jews, — " If 
therefore, the light which is in you, be darkness, how 
great is that darkness!" 


§ 633. Now, as the condition of ihe intellectual and 
moral faculties, and the power of the mind to ascertain 
the truth — and especially moral and religious truth, great- 
ly depend, as we have seen, (§ 630.) on the conditions 
of the bodily orga is, the efove, whatever increases the 
influences of the propensities, desires and appetites of 
the body, (§ 617.) on the intellectual and moral faculties, 
beyond the real and true wants of the human system, not 
only depraves the organs and leads to all the forms of 
bodily disease and suffering, and to premature eeiith, 
but also, necessarily impairs the intellectual and moral 
faculties — stupefies the moral sense — blunts the percep- 
tive and reflective powers of the mind, and renders man 
less and less capable of perceiving and appreciating mor- 
al and religious truth and of being acted on by any ether 
than sensual motives. Hence the Scriptures declare 
that the animal man receiveth not the things of the spirit 
of Go i, b cause they are insipid or of no force to him: 
— his moral susceptibilities are not adapted to then.: — 
and therefore he cannot know them because they are 
spiritually discerned. — And it is a gross state of 
ality, an I consequent intelle. tual and moral stu idity 
and darkness, which the Scriptures signify when they 
say, " The heart of this people is waxed fat or gross, and 
their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they 
closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with 
their ears, and unde stand with their heart, and should be 
converted and I should heal them." — Hence tbi New 
Testament is replete with passages affirming the intin ate 
relation between the carnal influences and the moral c har- 
acter of man, and earnestly exhorting and entreaiing 
believing Christians to crucify the flesh with the lust 
thereof— to walk not after the flesh — to suffer not sin to 
reign in the mortal body by obeying the lusts thereof— 

442 graham's lectures on the 

to keep under the body and bring it into subjection — to 
present it a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God — to 
render it a temple of the holy Spirit — even of the living 
God. — Because the flesh lusteth against the spirit and 
the spirit against the flesh; — and the minding of the flesh 
is death, because of sin — or the transgression of the con- 
stitutional laws of the animal, intellectual and moral 
nature of man: but the minding of the spirit of truth, 
is life and peace, because of righteousness, or the obedi- 
ence of those constitutional laws: — and consequently, he 
that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh, reap corrnp- 
ti n; — but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spir- 
it reap life everlasting. And therefore godliness, or the 
strict obedience of the laws which God has constitution- 
ally established in the animal, intellectual and moral na- 
ture of man, is profitable or serviceable to all, — ^having 
the promise of the life which now is and of that which is 

to come. 

§ 634. The moral faculties being constitutionally inhe- 
rent in human nature, m n is therefore necessarily a reli- 
gious an mal: — but there is no constitutional necessity nor 
certainty that his religion will be the religion of truth. — 
We have seen (§613.) that, the corporeal nature of man 
holds, in common with all material forms and substances, 
a fixed constitutional relation to God as its intelligent 
and omnipotent first, and continually efficient Cause, 
and that the moral nature of man holds a fixed consti- 
tutional relation to the moral character of God, as a 
moral Governor, Judge and Father: and that the consti- 
tutional laws of man's moral nature perfectly harmonize 
with the constitutional laws of his animal nature, so that, 
the perfect fulfilment of the one requires the perfect 
fulfilment of the other; and the violation of the one is 
necessarily attended with an infraction of the other: and 


furthermore that, the moral and religious instructions of 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, perfectly harmonize with 
the constitutional laws of man's moral and animal nature. 
True religion consists then, in perfectly obeying all 
the constitutional laws of human nature: — for this 
would be fulfilling our twofold relation to God, — our 
duty to ourselves and our relations to our fellow crea- 
tures: — and thus we should love God with all the heart, 
soul, mind and strength, and our fellow creatures as our- 
selves. — But, human nature has always come short of 
this perfect fulfilment, and from the delinquency has 
sprung all the natural and moral evils that man experi- 
ences in this world. And the Gospel affirms that man 
has thus failed, through the weakness of the flesh, and 
therefore that God has established an economy of grace, 
in which he will accept the true and sincere spirit to do, 
though man, in the frailty of his nature, comes short of 
the perfect fulfilment of law. But this economy of grace 
does not save man in the present state of being, from the 
penalties which must necessarily result from the violations 
of the constitutional laws of his animal nature. 

§635. If from inattention to true evidence (§629.) 
or want of information, — from sensuality (§630.) or any 
other cause, the understanding remains unenlightened and 
undecided under the promptings of the moral sense, 
(§ 622.) the mind is thrown into a state of painful per- 
plexity, and not perceiving distinctly where the truth 
lies, and still fearing lest it should not embrace every 
point in which it may lie, it is led to give importance to 
things, in themselves wholly unimportant, — even to the 
extent, in some cases, of making an object of worship 
of a lifeless image or of a "four-footed beast or creeping 

thing." This is superstition. — If through the power 

of the carnal influences or any other cause, (§630.) the 

444 graham's lectures on the 

miud is led to lay hold of erroneous evidences, or inac- 
curately weigh the true evidence presented to it, and 
thus, the understanding is fully brought to erroneous 
conclusions, under the influence of the moral sense, 
(§632.) these conclusions will constitute a false con- 
science: — and on these conclusions man builds the super- 
structure of his future interests and hopes; — and with 
such associations, they become of the utmost importance 
to his feelings, and he consequently regards with extreme 
jealousy, every thing which seems to militate against 
them. This is bigotry. — When the passions become 
excited in behalf of these conscientious errors, man often 
pursues them with the utmost exercise of all his energies; 
and perhaps accomplishes more evil in the pursuit, — and 
performs more deeds of horror, than under any other cause 
of action. This is fanaticism. — Yet in all this error> 
the moral sense speaks but one thing — " be right! — be 
right!" — The evil therefore lies in the errors of the 
understanding, and the errors of the understanding arise 
mainly if not entirely, on moral and religious subjects, 
from the influences of the carnal nature. 

§ 636. According, then, as man uses the powers and 
means which he possesses and which lie within the reach 
of his capabilities, — so will his religion be true, or false. — 
If true, it will lead to his highest and best condition. — 
If false, it leads to his greatest evil. — But whether his 
rel : gion be that of truth, unto good — or of error unto 
evi ! , — man must be religious, or cease to be what he 
constitutionally is! — His religion may indeed, be nothing 
but the most savage and degrading superstition and idola- 
try: — or, if possible, it may be of a still lower and more 
brutal order than this: — or it may run into the most 
atheislirally religious fanaticism against religion! — but 
still, ransack the earth and ocean, and wherever you 


find a human being who is not an idiot — however savage 
his condition — however low his state, — if you are capable 
of studying man, you may find in him the constitutional 
rudiments of a moral and religious character. 

§ 637. If man therefore, be not led to the religion of 
truth, and thus exalted to his highest and best condition — 
to a holy and happy alliance with his benevolent Creator, 
he will, with inevitable necessity, sink into the religion of 
error, and thus be degraded to wickedness and misery, 
in proportion as he departs from the truth constitutionally 
established in his nature. — And in proportion as the 
mind becomes darkened, and the conscience erroneous, 
and the moral sense blunted or feeble, man becomes less 
and less capable of ascertaining moral truth, and of 
perceiving and understanding spiritual things; and more 
and more inclined to carnal forms and ordinances, and 
the worship of sensible objects, and to the grossest and 
most degrading idolatry. 

§ 638. Finally: — we see from the views which have 
now been presented, that man has an animal nature, 
endowed with intellectual and moral powers; (§ 612.)— 
that his intellectual powers naturally obey the propensities, 
appetites and desires of his animal nature, (§607.) 
whether originally instinctive, or acquired; (§ 60S.)— 
that the grand law of action in the animal nature of man 
i s _ S elf-indulgence;— that all transgression of the consti- 
tutional laws of the animal nature of man, in supplying 
the natural wants or in gratifying the natural propensities, 
necessarily more or less, depraves the natural instincts 
and sensibilities of the body, and rapidly generates new 
wants new appetites and propensities, which act on the 
intellectual and voluntary powers with a much more 
imperious and despotic energy than the natural ones and 
always tend to excess, and lead to the destruction of the 

446 graham's lectures on the 

individual and the extinction of the species; — that the 
moral powers are established to preside over the operations 
of the intellectual faculties, with a determinate reference 
to the constitutional laws and relations of human nature; 
— and therefore that, their office is to prompt the mind to 
find out, and the individual to obey the constitutional 
laws and relations of his nature. And in doing this, the 
moral sense cannot in itself, tell what is true or right: — - 
nor has it any ability to tell whether the conclusions 
of the understanding are correct or erroneous. It can 
only say to the understanding with more or less energy 
and importunity — "be right! — be right!" — and whatever 
the understanding fully and confidently determines to be 
right, the moral sense necessarily receives and enforces 
as right; — and this is the conscience. Therefore when 
the conclusions of the understanding are strictly true, the 
conscience is true: — but if by any means the understand- 
ing is fully brought to erroneous conclusions under the 
promptings of the moral sense, the conscience is false. 
And consequently, the fact that a man is conscientiously 
sincere in a thing, is no proof that the thing is right: — 
nor is the fact that, a man's conscience does not reprove 
him in what he does, any proof that he is not acting 
morally wrong. 

§ 639. My analysis and philosophy of the moral powers 
thus far, are perfectly reconcilable to the views of Gall and 
Spurzheim, except that they make the brain of more 
exclusive importance than I do (§ 598.) and attribute 
much less to the physiological and pathological powers 
and conditions of the nerves of organic life, and the 
organs of relation. — They study man more exclusively 
within the brain, (§602.) while I insist much more on the 
physiological laws of his whole organization. — They may 
be correct in asserting that man has other innate moral 


faculties, such as benevolence, veneration, &c. If there 
be such innate powers — and there is much and strong 
evidence of it — it is entirely certain that the philosophy 
of them in the moral constitution and character of man, 
is precisely the same as that which I have now explained 
of the moral sense. (§ 1244.) And with the application 
of this general physiological philosophy to all the cerebral 
organs described by Gall and Spurzheim, I should have 
much less objection to their theory, because I believe it 
would thereby be rendered much more consistent with 
truth, and stripped of its most objectionable features. 


How long can man live? — The testimony of Moses and other ancient wri- 
ters concerning primitive longevity — Primitive computation of time — If 
man ever lived a thousand years, all the stages of life must have 
corresponded in relative length ;— childhood and youth, much more pro- 
tracted, &c. — Physiology cannot tell how long man can live, fact must 
determine it — The Mosaic record of primitive longevity from Adam 
to Jacob— Causes which have abbreviated the life of man— The great 
economy of Providence by which the physical constitution of man is 
renovated— The successive stages of society— The grand experiment 
of mankind in regard to the vital power of endurance— The history 
of this experiment from Adam to Noah and thence downward ; and 
the grand result— The lowest point of constitutional power— The 
savage state not natural to man— Uncertainty of testimony concern- 
ing tL experience of man— Anecdote of the two aged witnesses- 
Great misapprehension of facts— How far the facts of experience in 
individuals and nations may be useful to physiological science- 
Physiological science alone can determine how man should live- 
Experimental fact alone can determine how long man can live— The 
human constitution essentially one-If one man can live a hundred 

448 graham's lectures on the 

years, others may be made to — Those of feeble constitutions often live 
to much greater age than those of powerful constitutions — The present 
capabilities of the human constitution — Scriptural objections answer- 
ed — But old age is not desirable — Decrepitude and dotage not essen- 
tial to old age — Youthfulness, vivacity, health, activity, cheerfulness, 
usefulness and enjoyment may be preserved, and in a good measure 
carried up to the last hours of extreme old age — To live long is not 
only desirable but a duty — The preservation of youthfulness, viva- 
city and cheerfulness, a duty — How this may be done. 

§ 640. Having taken a general survey of the anatomy 
and physiology and pathology of man as an intellectual 
and moral animal; and contemplated the wonderful com- 
plexity and delicacy, and the fearful liabilities of his 
organic machinery, the question which next presents 
itself for our consideration, is — How long can the vital 
powers of the human constitution, through the operation 
of this assemblage of organs, resist the causes which 
induce disorder, and death, and maintain their control 
over the matter which composes their organic structure? 

§641. According to the Mosaic history, the first 
generations of the human race, lived several hundred 
years, and some individuals attained to nearly a thousand: 
and Josephus, who lived in the commencement of the 
Christian era, and who was extensively acquainted with 
the writings and traditions then called ancient, — and 
" saw many works entire of which we have now, but a 
few scattered fragments, assures us that, the tradition of 
this longevity extended through all antiquity." — He 
assigns as a reason for the great longevity of the primitive 
generations, that the human constitution was then vigorous 
and fresh from the hands of the Creator, and the food 
of man was then fitter for the prolongation of life: — and 
he affirms that all the writers of antiquities, both among 
the Greeks and Barbarians, admit the longevity of the 
first ages. " For even Manetho," says he, "who wrote 


the Egyptian history, and Berosus, who collected the 
Chaldean roerauments; and Moclms and Hestisus, and 
Jerome the Egyptian, and those that composed the 
Phoenician history, all concur in testifying to this primi- 
tive longevity. Hesiod also, Hecataeus, and Hellanicus, 
and Acusilaus; and besides these, Ephorus and Nicolaus 
relate that the ancients lived a thousand years." — Lucre- 
tius the Roman poet, among other Latin writers, also 
asserts the great longevity of the first generations of the 
human race, and says that they were hardy "because 
the hard earth produced them.' And that — 

" Their sinewy limbs were firmly knit and strong, 
Their life was healthy and their age was long, 
Returning years still saw them in their prime; 
They wearied even the wings of measuring time!" 

§ 642. There has been much speculation in modern 
times, concerning the length of the years spoken of by 
Moses and other early historians, in reference to the 
period of human life, in the primitive ages of the world. 
Hufeland, a distinguished German physician, thinks "it 
has been made to appear in the highest degree probable, 
that, the year, till the time of Abraham, consisted only 
of three months; — that it was afterwards extended to 
eight; — and that it was not till the time of Joseph, that 
it was made to consist of twelve." " These assertions," 
he continues, " are, in a certain degree, confirmed by 
some of the eastern nations, who still reckon only three 
months to the year; and besides, it would appear alto- 
gether inexplicable, why the life of man should have been 
shortened, one half, immediately after the flood— It would 
be equally inexplicable why the patriarchs did not marry 
till their sixtieth, seventieth, and even their hundredth 
year:— but this difficulty vanishes when we reckon these 
ages according to the before -mentioned standard, which 

450 Graham's lectures on the 

will give the twentieth or thirtieth year; and conse- 
quently, the same periods at which people marry at pres- 
ent. — The whole account, therefore, according to this 
explanation, assumes a different appearance. The six- 
teen hundred years before the flood, will become four 
hundred and fourteen, and the nine hundred years 
which Methuselah lived will be reduced to two hun- 
dred; an age which is not impossible; and to which some 
men, in modern times, have nearly approached." 

§ G43. The whole argument against the great longevity 
of the primitive inhabitants of the earth may be resolved 
to the following syllogism. Man rarely attains to more 
than a hundred years, in the present age of the world: — 
nor has he for many centuries past; and few, even reach 
seventy years. But man now lives nearly or quite as 
long as the human constitution can be made capable of 
resisting the natural causes of its destruction. There- 
fore, man never attained to a much greater age than he 
now does: and consequently, the accounts of the extra- 
ordinary longevity of the antediluvians, must either be 
wholly fabulous, or the years which they are said to have 
lived, must have consisted of a much shorter period of 
time than the present year. 

§ 644. The whole then comes to this: — The consti- 
tutional capabilities of man, have from the beginning, to 
the present time, always remained very nearly the same. 
But this reasoning appears to me to be very inconclusive, 
and without any foundation in true physiological science. 
A thorough investigation of the conditions and laws of 
organic life, (§ 121. et seq.) clearly shows that, from the 
constitutional nature of things, there must necessarily be a 
termination to human existence sooner or later; — but 
there is nothing in physiology, nor in any other known 
science, which proves that man cannot as well live a 


thousand years, as fifty. The bare facts then, that man 
does not live a thousand years, and has not, for many 
centuries past, constitute the only foundation for the 
assertion that he cannot live a thousand years, and there- 
fore that, he never did live a thousand years. From all 
we know however, of the laws of life in connexion with 
the organized matter of the human body, we have not 
the least physiological reason for believing that those 
conditions and operations of the living organs, on which 
the continuance of life depends, (§ 133.) may not be 
sustained, in a possible state of the human constitution, 
for many hundred years. — But if there ever was such a 
state of the human constitution, that state necessarily 
involved a general keeping of parts, or harmony of pro- 
portions or relative conditions. The vital processes 
were much less rapid and intense and much more com- 
plete than at present, — the development of the body was 
much slower, and the organization much more per- 
fect: childhood and adolescence were proportionately 
protracted: and the change from youth to manhood, took 
place at a much greater remove from birth: and boys 
were lads at thirty, and young men marriageable at seventy 
or a hundred years of age. — The descent from such an 
elevated state of the human constitution to the common 
level of the human race since the time of Moses, would 
necessarily be more or less rapid and precipitate, accord- 
ing as the habits of mankind were more or less confor- 
mable to, or in violation of the laws of life. 

§ 645. But while, on the one hand, physiological 
science affords us no proof that man cannot live a thou- 
sand years, neither does it on the other hand, afford us 
any proof that he can live even ten years. — Facts and 
testimony therefore, constitute our only authority on this 
point:— and although, as I have shown, (§ 641.) the tra- 

452 graham's lectures on the 

dition of the great longevity of the primitive inhabitants 
of the earth, ran through all antiquity, and is asserted by 
all the Greek and Barbarian historians, who, two thousand 
years ago, wrote what was then called the ancient history 
of the human race, yet the Sacred Books written by 
Moses, are unquestionably the most ancient and perhaps 
the only authentic testimony which has come down to 
us, on this interesting subject. And according to the 
Mosaic record Adam lived 930 years — Seth, 912 — 
Enos, 905— Cainan, 910-^-Mahalaleel, 895— Jared, 962 
—Enoch, 365— Methuselah, 969— Lamech, 777— Noah, 
950— Shem, 600— Arphaxpad, 438— Salah, 433— 
Eber, 464— Peleg, 239— Reu, 239— Serug, 230— 
Nahor, 148— Terah, 205— Abraham, 175— Isaac, 180 
— Jacob, 147. — The period signified by the word year, 
in this record, appears to mean precisely the same length 
of time when applied to Adam and Methuselah that it 
does when applied to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: — or 
in other words, Moses appears to have used the He- 
brew term which is rendered "year" in our English 
Bible, for precisely the same length of time, when speak- 
ing of the age of the antediluvians, and when speaking 
of that of the postdiluvians. And therefore, if we are 
to understand from the Mosaic record that Methuselah 
lived but 242 of our years, then the patriarch Jacob 
lived but 37 years. — It is highly probable, however, that 
the average period of life, of the individuals named by 
Moses, from the creation to the flood, is considerably 
greater than the average period of human life, in the 
whole species during the same time. Nor is the rapid 
abbreviation of the period of human existence after the 
flood, by any means inexplicable or marvellous, even if 
it be admitted that Noah actually lived 950 of our years. 
— It is indeed, no uncommon thing to meet with facts 
perfectly analogous in our own times. 


§ G46. Whatever maybe true, however, as to the pre- 
cise length of the^period of human existence before the 
flood, it cannot reasonably be doubted that the primitive 
generations of mankind very greatly exceeded in length 
of life, the present inhabitants of the earth. Nevertheless, 
it appears very evident that, for the last three thousand 
years, the general average of human life has remained 
pretty nearly the same. 

§647. How far the changes which have taken place 
in the earth and its atmosphere, may have been concerned 
in the abbreviation of human life, cannot be known. It 
is probable that such changes have at times affected ani- 
mal life very generally and with great power, as epidemic 
causes of disease and death: but there is no reason to 
believe that any permanent constitutional change has 
taken place in the atmosphere, nor any change in the 
condition of the earth, by which the human constitution 
has been permanently impaired, to any considerable 
extent. Nor is there reason to believe that any thing 
more than natural causes have operated to produce whatever 
changes have taken place in regard to the longevity and 
general condition of the human race: — and among these, 
the most powerful are unquestionably those which are 
connected with human agency and within the control of 
human ability. 

§ 648. The whole history of the human race fully 
proves that man is so constituted as an intellectual and 
moral animal, that those excesses which deprave and de- 
teriorate his nature as an individual, (§ 609.) and lead to 
his individual destruction, and to the degeneracy of the 
human constitution, and the extermination of the species, 
inevitably so affect him in his social and political capaci- 
ties and relations, as that, while they impair all the ener- 
gies of the human constitution, and fit man to be the 

454 graham's lectures on the 

progenitor of a still more degenerate progeny, and thus 
gradually lead to the extermination of the race, at the 
same time so impair the energies of his intellectual and 
moral powers, so ingulf his social and civil virtues in 
selfishness and sensuality, as to render him incapable of 
sustaining those social and civil institutions and political 
conditions, by which he is protected in his degenerating 
luxuries and excesses, and fit him to become an easy 
prey to the hardier and more warlike portions of his race, — 
or to sink by a general decay of state and civil feuds, into 
an equally degraded condition of vassalage or slavery 
or barbarian rudeness, — in which, with the loss of science 
and literature, and all the elegant refinements of civic 
life, he is also stripped of those luxuries, and compelled 
to forego many if not all of those enervating and deteri- 
orating habits and circumstances, by which his whole 
nature has been reduced to the very brink of utter de- 
struction: and thus, like the king of Babylon, he is driven 
forth from the excesses of his voluptuousness and gen- 
eral sensuality, and forced to subsist in the simplest and 
rudest manner, in a state of little more than animal exist- 
ence. — From this state, he slowly rises by the gradual 
cultivation of his intellectual and moral powers, and of 
the social and civil virtues, till, with renovated physical 
energies and constitutional powers, he attains to what is 
universally called the golden age, in which all the circum- 
stances of his existence, seem to be best adapted to hu- 
man health and longevity and virtue and happiness. To 
this, generally succeeds the age of heroism and conquest, 
and then follows the age of stern and noble patriotism, and 
legislative wisdom, and political energy and power. The 
age of wealth conies next, and with it, brings the age of 
luxury and refined sensuality and excess. Multiplying 
Disease raises its admonishing voice, in vain. Pestilence 


peals a louder and more terrific note of rebuke, and man 
in the moment of dismay, at first refrains from his excess- 
es, and affords his constitution an opportunity to gather 
up some of its prostrated energies. But his partial refor- 
mation too often proves to be only a preparation for 
greater excesses than before, and he rushes onward in 
the current of indulgence, till even the terrible rebukes 
and chastisements of pestilence, seem only to harden him 
and increase his temerity until he revels in maniac sen- 
suality even in the lazaretto, and yields to the fierceness 
of his beastly lust upon the very threshold of the charnel 
house. In this fearful manner, the nations of the earth 
have been scourged till it seemed as if the human race 
would be wholly exterminated: — and only by such severe 
and awful retributions from the violated laws of nature, 
have mankind been induced to pause from their sensual 
excesses, and investigate even the most obvious relations 
between their habits and their sufferings. Nor has all 
this been sufficient, so to restrain them in their downward 
course, as to prevent the necessity for those mighty revo- 
lutions, which, from the beginning, have continued to roll 
up barbarian hordes to the zenith of civilization and luxu- 
ry, and to roll down civilized and refined nations to the 
nadir of barbarian darkness. And thus, the human con- 
stitution has, from time to time, been partially renovated, 
and the human race perpetuated, by the very means which 
have often almost blotted the intellectual and moral man 
from the face of the earth! ; 

§ 649 Indeed, it seems as if the grand experiment of 
mankind had ever been to ascertain how far they can 
transgress the laws of life-how near they can approach 
to the very point of death, and yet not die -at least, 
so suddenly and violently, as to be compelled to know 
that", they have destroyed themselves. 

456 graham's lectures ow the 

§ 650. The primitive inhabitants of the earth, having 
once broken away from the simplicity and truth of nature, 
and begun to acquire artificial appetites, of far more des- 
potic power (§ 608.) than nature's holy instincts, rushed 
forward to new indulgences, with increasing eagerness 
and celerity, and plunged downward to deeper aud yet 
deeper sensuality, — impelled by a continually accumulat- 
ing moral force arising from their more and more de- 
praved and more vehement and tyrannous propensities, till 
the horrible enormities of human wickedness rose up to 
heaven, and God, in very mercy, quenched the bursting 
volcano of human passions by the flood; and almost 
entirely exterminated the /amity of man, to save the 
earth from a bloodier deluge and a darker desolation, and 
man from a more violent and cruel end. And when the 
earth rose from her deep baptism, sanctified from the 
pollutions of a drowned race, the remnant of that race, 
which God had saved for the perpetuation of the human 
kind, came forth with appetites unsanctified by the ter- 
rible ablution of the world, to commence anew the down- 
ward and ruinous career of sensual excess. — And surely, 
if the patriarchal father, who, of all the earth's inhabi- 
tants, was most virtuous and most acceptable to God, 
brought with him from beyond the flood, an appetite, 
which, in spite of the awful judgment he had seen 
inflicted on a sinful world, led him to the excess of most 
disgraceful drunkenness, as soon as he could procure the 
means, it cannot be supposed that, with such an exam- 
ple and such opportunities before them, the sons of that 
patriarch — born and reared as they had been, amidst the 
fiercest excesses of the old world's sensuality and vio- 
lence — were more abstemiously and virtuously inclined 
than was their aged sire. 
§ 651. It is not strange therefore, that their lives were 


much abbreviated by their excesses; (§ 645.)— nor that 
the succeeding generations of mankind, pursuing the 
same downward career of sensuality, should suffer a con- 
tinual abbreviation of the period of their existence, till 
repeated calamities had forced them to ascertain the low- 
est point to which they could descend without extermi- 
nating the human species. 

§ 652. From that time to the present, mankind have 
revolved around the minimum point of constitutional 
power, in the circle which I have described, (§643.) 
from savage to civilized life and luxury and every dete- 
riorating excess; and from this, to savage life again, and 
thence slowly rising to the golden age, and then again 
declining. And consequently, though, in these succeed- 
ing revolutions, the succeeding nations of the earth have 
had their elevation and declension, yet the average level 
of human life has been nearly the same for the last three 
or four thousand years. — Each nation has had its period 
of longevity, its age of heroism, conquest, patriotism, 
legislative wisdom, political energy, wealth, luxury, &c. 
It is also true that, the general average of life often runs 
low in a nation which at the same time has many instances 
of individual longevity: and on the other hand, the aver- 
age period may be considerably elevated when there are 
few remarkable cases of individuals who attain to very 
old age. Both of these facts may easily be explained, 
on the plainest principles of physiological philosophy. 
But were I to follow out all the leadings of this interesting 
subject, the extent of my investigations would neces- 
sarily far exceed the bounds which I have set for myself 
on this topic of inquiry. 

§ 653. The lowest point of constitutional power by 
which the human species can be preserved, is that winch 
will sustain a sufficient number of each generation long 

45S graham's lectures on the 

enough in life to become the progenitors, and nurturing 
protectors of another generation. When it falls short of 
this, ths human race tends rapidly to extinction; — and 
in this manner, particular families are very frequently 
exterminated, and even whole trihes are sometimes cut 
off. But as we have seen, (§ 64S.) a wise and benevo- 
lent Creator has so constituted things, that the human 
species as a whole are not permitted to go beyond certain 
limits, without falling into that condition, in which intel- 
lectual elevation, science, literature, and all the elegant 
refinements and deteriorating luxuries of civic life are 
sacrificed for the physical renovation of human nature. 
Yet if by any means the human race can be kept suffi- 
ciently above the minimum point of constitutional power, 
the species can be preserved without the renovating pro- 
cess of which I have spoken, — or without a recurrence 
to the severe simplicity and privations of the savage 
state. Be it remembered however, (§ 25. Note) I do 
not affirm that the savage state is best adapted to human 
health and longevity: — but that this state of severe pri- 
vation and rudeness, has hitherto been necessary to strip 
man of the means of luxury and excess, and thus afford 
his constitutional powers an opportunity to recover in 
some degree their impaired energies. Yet the savage 
state is generally attended with many circumstances 
which are decidedly unfavorable to health and longevity; 
and often with extreme violations of the laws of life. 

§ 654. Well regulated civilized life is therefore, un- 
questionably best adapted to the full development of the 
physical and intellectual and moral capabilities of man: and 
it is a necessary truth established in the constitutional 
nature of things, that not only individual health and happi- 
ness and prosperity, but also the political prosperity and 
durability of nations, are, as a general statement, always 


proportionate to the degree of conformity of the people to 
the laws of life. 

§ 655. To ascertain what those causes are, by which 
the period of human existence is abbreviated, and by 
what means we may with greatest certainty, not only 
secure the longest life, but also the highest degree of 
health, and the greatest amount of happiness, consistently 
with those principles on which our highest intellectual and 
moral good depends, must necessarily be regarded by all 
truly rational creatures as of the utmost importance. 

§ 656. In pursuing this investigation however, we meet 
with many and great difficulties: — not from any uncer- 
tainty of physiological principles; but from the almost 
impossibility of ascertaining real facts; because we are 
obliged, to a very considerable extent, to take the testi- 
mony of others, in regard to things which we have not 
the opportunity to examine for ourselves. And unfortu- 
nately for the human race, too many that have been 
considered valid sources of information, have only served 
to mislead mankind and to establish those erroneous 
opinions, from which have sprung some of the most 
pernicious practices which have afflicted our species. 

§ 657. We have been told that, some men enjoy health 
and live to great age in warm and in hot climates; and 
that others enjoy health and live to great age in cold 
climates: (§ 15.)— some on one kind of diet and some 
on another: — some under one set of circumstances, and 
some under another:— therefore, what is best for one man 
is not for another:— what agrees well with one, disagrees 
with another:— what is one man's meat, is another man's 
poison:— different constitutions require different treat- 
ment:— and consequently, no general rules can be laid 
down, which are adapted to every man, in all circum- 
stances, and which can, with propriety, be made the laws 
of regimen to all. 


§ 65S. These erroneous dogmas, so far as the world 
is now informed, were first advanced by Hippocrates, and 
with all servility, have been handed down from generation 
to generation, till they have become the common senti- 
ments of mankind; which he who questions, will incur the 
charge of rashly contradicting the common sense and 
universal experience of the human family. And hence, 
the common mode of reasoning on this important subject, 
is necessarily and exceedingly erroneous: — and never 
more so than when it is supposed to be truly and rigidly 

§ 659. Among the numerous illustrations of the truth 
of the common notions, which I have just stated, the 
anecdote of the two aged witnesses who appeared before 
the civil magistrate, is often repeated by -those who are 
willing to observe no other rules of life than the leadings 
of their appetites. — It is said that on a certain occasion, 
there appeared before a civil magistrate, a very aged wit- 
ness, who possessed so much bodily vigor and elasticity, 
and retained his mentai and moral faculties so remarkably, 
as to attract the particular attention of the court; — and 
when the trial was closed, the magistrate asked him how 
old he was. — " The days of my pilgrimage are a hun- 
dred years; may it please your honor!" was the old man's 
reply. — "And by what means," inquired the magistrate, 
" have you reached such an advanced period of life and 
retained all your faculties and powers so well?" — " May 
it please your honor," the old man replied, " I was born 
of healthy parents, and from my youth up, have led a 
regular and temperate life. — My food has been simple 
and plain, my drink has been water, I have retired to 
rest in good season and risen early; I have been careful 
to govern my passions, and to preserve a great serenity 
and uniformity of mind and habit. In short, I have been 


always systematically regular and temperate in all things." 
— Pleased with the old man's appearance and his history, 
the magistrate embraced the occasion to expatiate on the 
virtues of temperance and good habits, and to exhort the 
numerous audience to follow the example of this " green 
old man." — Soon after this, another aged witness ap- 
peared before the same magistrate, who was equally 
remarkable for his bodily health and vigor, and for the 
soundness and energy of his mental and moral powers. — 
He also was asked by the magistrate how old he was, and 
by what means he had preserved his life and health and 
all his faculties in so vigorous a state. — "May it please 
your honor, "said the aged witness, " I am ahundred years 
old. — I have taken no pains to preserve my life or health. 
I have followed no rules, but have led an irregular life. 
I have always indulged my appetite in just what it craved; 
I have eaten what I wanted, when I chose, and as 
much as I desired; and my food has generally been rich 
and savory. — I have always drunk wine, beer and 
ardent spirit freely and often to great excess. In short, 
I have lived just as it happened, and am now living and 
well as your honor sees me, because my life and health 
have been continued to me, and not because I have taken 
any pains to preserve them."— The magistrate was ex- 
ceedingly confounded by this man's statement, and only 
remarked that he perceived that some men would attain 
to old age in one way, and some in another. 

§ 660. Those who repeat this fabulous anecdote, seem 
to think that it is a true narration of facts, and that it fully 
proves the entire futility of all rules for the preservation 
of life and health; and completely demonstrates that a 
vigorous old age is attained to, with as much eertainty 
i„ one way as in another—But in the first place, this 
story bears the evidence of fiction and of falsehood on its 

462 graham's lectures on the 

very face: for although it is possible that, a man of re- 
markably powerful constitution, may live till he is a 
hundred years old, and retain his faculties and powers 
in considerable vigor, whose habits have been such as 
the second witness in this story is made to declare his 
own to have been, yet it is not possible for two persons, 
with an equally excellent original constitution, to reach 
a hundred years, with habits of life so different as those 
stated of the two witnesses in this story, without the most 
marked and manifest difference of appearance and con- 
dition of body and mind: — and a difference too, which 
would afford the strongest evidence in favor of a tem- 
perate and regular life. Therefore, in the second place, if 
this story were true, it would afford no evidence in favor of 
the position which it is intended to establish: — but would 
simply go to show that, the first witness, with an ordi- 
nary or perhaps feeble constitution, had by virtue of cor- 
rect habits, attained to a remarkably healthy and sound 
old age; while the second witness had reached the same 
age with equal health and vigor, in spite of exceedingly 
bad habits, by virtue of a most extraordinarly powerful 

§661. Yet, without taking the pains to examine all 
the circumstances of the case, most people consider the 
bare fact that some intemperate and irregular individuals 
reach a vigorous old age, a conclusive evidence that such 
habits are not unfavorable to long life; — or that a man of 
intemperate and irregular habits is just as certain of 
reaching a hundred years, as one of the most temperate 
and regular habits is; — and therefore almost every body 
has a demonstration of this kind in the history of some 
kinsman or neighbor or acquaintance, or somebody else. 
And with the same loose kind of inductive reasoning 
people arrive at conclusions equally erroneous, in regard 


to tribes and nations. If a tribe or nation which subsists 
on vegetable food is weak, sluggish and destitute of cour- 
age and manly enterprise, it is at once concluded that 
vegetable food is the cause; and the general proposition 
is laid down that an exclusively vegetable diet is not 
favorable to bodily strength and activity and mental vigor 
and sprightliness. Yet a proper examination of the 
subject might have shown that other causes fully ade- 
quate to these effects, existed in the condition and habits 
of that tribe or nation, which not only exonerated the 
vegetable diet from this charge, but even made it appear, 
that the vegetable diet had a powerfully conservative and 
redeeming effect, and was the principal means by which 
the tribe or nation was saved from a much worse physi- 
cal, mental and moral condition. 

§ 662. Again, if savage tribes or nations are unpro- 
lific, feeble, sickly and short-lived, it is at once conclud- 
ed that the naturalness and simplicity of savage life, are 
unfavorable to bodily development and vigor and health 
and longevity. Yet a proper examination of the subject 
might have shown that causes existed in the habits of 
such tribes or nations, not at all essential to savage 
life, and directly opposed to true naturalness and sim- 
plicity, which were abundantly sufficient to account for 
all the objectionable effects attributed to savage life. 
(§25. Note,) 

§ 663. The conclusions therefore, whichare drawn from 
the habits of individuals and of nations, can be depended 
on no farther than they agree with the laws of life, ascer- 
tained by an accurate and thorough investigation of the 
vital properties of the tissues and functional powers of 
the organs, and the general operations and results of the 
vital economy of the human system. 

§664. So far as a general agreement exists between 

464 graham'^ lectures on the 

all cases of remarkable longevity, some respect is to be 
paid to facts: — and these may be adduced as illustrations 
of principles otherwise established. — But the fact that an 
individual, or a number of individuals have attained to a 
great age, in certain habits of living, is no conclusive evi- 
dence that those habits are most conducive to long life, 
nor even that they are all favorable to longevity. The 
only use therefore, which we can safely make of a case of 
extraordinary old age, is to show how long the human 
constitution is capable of sustaining the vital economy 
and of resisting the causes which induce death. 

§665. If we would correctly ascertain how man must 
live in order to secure the most perfect health and attain 
to the greatest age of which the human constitution is 
capable, w r e must not ransack society to find all the 
remarkable instances of longevity, and learn the par- 
ticular habits of those who have attained to old age: — 
for such a course would only serve to bewilder and per- 
plex us, and lead us to conclude that the whole question 
is involved in the most entire uncertainty: because we 
should find health and old age in almost every variety of 
circumstances in which mankind are placed; and if we 
were not fully qualified for the severest and most critical 
investigation of such an intricate subject, we should inev- 
itably misapprehend facts, and thus be led to erroneous 
conclusions: — but we must study the human constitution 
with the most rigorous scrutiny of science. — We must 
analyze the human body to its organic elements, (§122. 
123.) and become thoroughly acquainted with all the ele- 
mentary tissues (§ 156.) which enter into the formation 
of all its organs, and fully understand the peculiar vital 
properties of all those tissues (§ 312.) and the functional 
powers of all the organs. We must intimately and accu- 
rately know all the conditions on which the peculiar 


properties of the tissues and powers of the organs de- 
pend, and the various causes and circumstances by 
which those properties and powers are favorably or unfa- 
vorably affected. — In short, we must ascertain all the prop- 
erties and powers which belong to the living animal body, 
and all the laws of constitution and relation appertaining 
to the vital economy of the human system. — Here, and 
only here, can the enlightened and truly scientific physi- 
ologist take his stand, and teach those rules of life, by 
which man may with greatest certainty secure the best 
health and attain to the greatest longevity of which the 
human constitution is capable. 

§666. But while the truly scientific physiologist, 
from his intimate and thorough knowledge of all the prop- 
erties and powers, and laws of constitution and relation, 
belonging to the human body, instructs us how to live in 
order to secure the highest degree of health, and attain 
to the longest life of which the human constitution is 
capable, he cannot from this knowledge, tell us what 
the capabilities of the human constitution are in regard to 
health and longevity. He can tell us with accuracy and 
confidence that, such and such are the laws of life — and 
such and such are the best means by which health may 
be secured and life prolonged: — but he cannot, from his 
physiological knowledge, tell us whether a strict obedi- 
ence to the laws of life, and a correct use of the best 
means, will prolong our life ten, or a thousand years. 

§ 667. If therefore, we ask the truly enlightened phys- 
iologist, how we must live to secure the best health and 
longest life of which our constitution is capable,— his 
answer must be drawn purely from his physiological 
knowledge:— but if we ask him how long the best mode 
of living will preserve our life?— his reply is, "Physiology 
cannot teach you that. Therefore, now go you out mto 

466 graham's lectures on the 

the world and find the oldest man living and enjoying 
health. — If after having obeyed his command, we return 
and say tc**him, we have found several individuals a 
hundred years old and all enjoying pretty nearly the same 
degree of health; yet they are of very different and 
even of opposite habits; his answer will be that, prob- 
ably each of the individuals whom you have found has a 
mixture of good and bad habits, and has lived in a mix- 
ture of favorable and unfavorable circumstances, and that, 
notwithstanding the apparent diversity of habits and cir- 
cumstances among them, there is probably a pretty near- 
ly equal amount of what is salutary and conservative in 
the habits and circumstances of each and all. Some of 
them have erred in one thing and some in another, and 
some have been correct in one thing and some in anoth- 
er; and therefore the diversity of win" ;h you sp ak is 
probably more apparent than real, in relation to the true 
laws of life. Besides, some, with an extraordinarily pow- 
erful constitution, may, in the constant violation of the 
laws of life, reach a hundred years with as much health and 
vigor, as others who attain to the same period in much 
better habits and circumstances, but with far less power- 
ful constitutions. All that is proved therefore, by in- 
stances of great longevity in connexion with bad habits 
and circumstances, is that, such individuals possess 
remarkably powerful constitutions, which are able to re- 
sist for ninety or a hundred years, causes that have in the 
same time sent hundreds of thousands of their fellow 
creatures, of feeble constitutions, to an untimely grave; 
and which, under a correct regimen, would in all proba- 
bility have sustained life and health a hundred and twenty, 
and perhaps a hundred and fifty years. — The only use 
which you can safely make therefore, of the instances of 
great longevity which you have found," he would say, "is 


to show how long the human constitution, in the present 
age of the world and condition of the race, is capable of 
resisting the causes which induce death: — and if you 
have found an individual or a number of individuals a 
hundred years old, it is of little importance to you how 
they have lived, — the simple fact that they are a hun- 
dred years old is all we wish, to prove that the human 
constitution is now capable of reaching a hundred years." 
§ 663. Physiology then, alone, can teach us how man 
must live in order to secure the best health and attain to 
the greatest age of which the human constitution is capa- 
ble; and the fact that there are individuals now living a 
hundred years old, proves that the human constitution is 
capable of sustaining life a hundred years, at least, and 
perhaps much longer, if the regimen and circumstances 
are in all respects correct. — But here I shall probably be 
met with the very ancient and utterly absurd doctrine that, 
there are different constitutions, and therefore, that what 
may be true of one, cannot truly be affirmed of all. — It 
is freely admitted that, in the present state of the human 
race, some individuals have more vital energy and consti- 
tutional power to resist the causes of disease and death 
than others have, and therefore, what will break down 
the constitution and destroy the life of some individuals, 
may be borne by others a much longer time, without any 
striking manifestations of immediate injury. — It is also 
true that, in the present state of the human race, some 
individuals have strongly marked constitutional idiosyn- 
crasies or peculiarities: — but these are far more rare and 
of a much less important character than is generally sup- 
posed; and in no instance constitute the slightest excep- 
tion to the general laws of life; nor in any degree interfere 
with, or militate against the correct principles of a gen- 
eral regimen. Indeed such peculiarities, though really 

468 graham's lectures on the 

constitutional, may in almost every case be overcome en- 
tirely, by a correct regimen. I have frequently seen the 
most strongly marked cases completely subdued by such 
means. It is an incontrovertible truth therefore, that so 
far as the general laws of life, and the application of 
general principles of regimen are considered, the human 
constitution is one; and there are no constitutional differ- 
ences in the human race which will not readily yield to a 
correct regimen, and by thus yielding improve the con- 
dition of the individual affected: and consequently, there 
are no constitutional differences in the human race, which 
stand in the way of adapting one general regimen to the 
whole family of man: — but, on the contrary, it is most 
strictly true, that, so far as the general laws of life, and 
the application of general principles of regimen are con- 
sidered, what may be truly affirmed of one man may be 
truly affirmed of all, and what is best for one is best for 
all; and therefore, all general reasonings, concerning the 
human constitution, are equally applicable to each and 
every member of the human family, in all ages of the 
world, and in all conditions of the race, and in all the va- 
rious circumstances of individuals. 

§669. Now therefore, if individuals can be found at 
the present time, who are a hundred years old, the fact 
may be adduced as a demonsrtation that the human con- 
stitution has vital power enough to resist the causes which 
induce death, and to sustain health for a hundred years, 
under whatever disadvantages may exist at the present 
period of the world, distinctly from the agency of man. 
But we know that there are many individuals now living 
and enjoying good health in different sections of our coun- 
try, who are a hundred years old; and therefore, it may 
with perfect accuracy be affirmed that the human species 
in the United States of America, may average a hundred 
years of life. 


§ G70. Is it objected, that, this is not a legitimate con- 
clusion? — that, because one man reaches a hunched 
years, it is no proof that the human species may average 
that length of life?— I ask, by what means has one man 
lived a hundred years?— Will it be affirmed that he has 
been miraculously endowed with vital powers: — or that, 
his vital energies have from time to time been miracu- 
lously renovated? — Certainly not! — But, it may be as- 
serted, that he had a remarkably strong constitution! This 
is not always the case. Plato in his Republic, strongly 
censures Herodicus, one of the preceptors of Hippocra- 
tes, for teaching the delicate and infirm to regulate their 
exercise and diet in such a manner, as to prolong their 
lives for many years; and thus attain to old age with a very 
feeble constitution. " He was master of an academy," 
says Plato, " where youth were taught their exeicise, and 
being himself delicate and infirm, he contrived to blend 
exercise with such dietetic rules as preserved his own 
feeble constitution from sinking under his complaints, and 
enabled him to protract his valetudinary existence to old 
age; and he did the same injury to many others of feeble 
and infirm constitutions." This Plato calls an injury, 
because he considered an infirm constitution an obstacle 
to the practice of virtue; inasmuch as it makes people 
always imagine themselves ill and causes them to think 
of nothing but their own infirmities: and therefore he 
thought that, if a delicate person did not soon recover 
health, he had better die out of the way; and not live 
to be miserable himself, and to become the father of feeble 
children, and thus injure society and the race. Louis 
Cornaro, a noble Venetian, had completely broken down 
his constitution at the age of thirty-five, and had become 
so infirm that he despaired of ever recovering health, or 
of reaching the meridian of life: yet by greatly reforming 

47Q Graham's lectures on the 

and simplifying bis habits of living, be recovered health 
and lived to be over a hundred years eld. The venerable 
Moses Brown, of Providence, R. 1., now nearly a hun- 
dred years old-* and enjoying uncommon health and 
activity for his age, informs me that, from his biith 
through the whole of the early part of his life, he was 
exceedingly delicate and feeble, and thai his constitution 
has always been very delicate. He had three brothers 
who were all remarkable for their stout, robust and 
vigorous bodies, and powerful constitutions, yet neither 
of these brothers reached seventy years. — At ihe age of 
eighty-three, Moses Brown observed to a friend, tl I 
was always a feeble, frail thing among my brothers, aid 
had no expectation of out-living them; — 1 am persuaded 
that if I had had the constitution of cither of them, and 
lived as I have lived, I should be an active, hale man at 
a hundred years old, and should probably live to the age 
of a hundred and ten or a hundred and twenty years in 
good health; but with my feeble constitution, I do r.ot 
expect to exceed ninety years." — The interesting case 
of this family is by no means an extraordinary one. It 
is no uncommon thing for the most delicate member of 
a family, by a careful regimen and generally correct 
habits, to attain to a very advanced period of life, while 
the more vigorous and. hale members, by living too fast, 
are cut oil in the middle of life, or perhaps in early man- 
hood. — I could name a number of such instances. 

§ 671. But granting the position, that, be who attains 
to a bundled years lias a remarkably strong constitution: 
I ask, how the individual came to the possession of such 
a constitution? — Was it the special, direct, and extraor- 
dinary gift of the Creator? — or was it the natural result 
of a succession and concurrence of causes and effects 

* Vr. Crown has since died of sickness from exposure, in his ninety- 
eigtnh year. 


operating in the constitutional nature of things? — Most 
unquestionably the latter! — and these causes and effects, 
as a general law, are perfectly within the sphere of human 
agency, ami under the control of human ability. 

§672. If by any means, therefore, the human consti- 
tution can be made to resist the causes of death, and 
sustain health a hundred years, in one individual, by 
the same means, the same results can be produced in all: 
because he who attains to a hundred years, depends 
wholly on the intrinsic energies of the human constitution 
and on those circumstances and habits of life, which, as 
a general statement, are under the control of human 


§ 673. I do not however affirm, nor intend to imply 
that the present generation of the human species, can by 
any means, all attain to a hundred years of life. I know 
that in the present condition of the race, there is a very 
great inequality of constitutional power. Some indi- 
viduals are born with constitutions too feeble to sustain 
the functions of life a single year:— others have power 
enough to maintain the victory over the causes which 
induce death for three, five, ten, twenty, forty, eighty, 
a hundred, or a hundred and fifty years— Some are 
born without any strong tendency to a particular disease, 
while others are* born with the most powerful predisposi- 
tion to particular disease of some kind or other. But it 
entirely certain, that all these constitutional differences 
suit from the action of causes which man has the power 
o control: and therefore it is entirely certain that all 
these constitutional differences can be removed in the 
course of three or four generations of the race, by a 
trc conformity to the laws of life, in all the members 
of ch generation:-and the human can be 
bogto,at least, as great uniformity as to their health 


to conl 

472 graham's lectures on the 

and length of life, as is found amongst all the lower ani- 
mals in a pure state of nature. 

§ 674. When I affirm that, the human species may 
average a hundred years, I do not mean to imply that the 
human constitution is not capable of exceeding that 
period. — Asa physiologist, I cannot perceive any reason 
why the human race cannot return to the original lon- 
gevity of the species: neither can I affirm, from any physi- 
ological knowledge, that man can live a hundred years. 
The bare fact that the human constitution does carry 
some individuals up to this period, is all the authority 
I have for affirming this capability of the human con- 
stitution: — but this fact by no means proves that the 
capability of the human constitution is only equal to a 
hundred years of life; because it is by no means certain 
that those who attain to the greatest age, always strictly 
conform to the laws of life; and therefore, we do not know 
but that many who die at a hundred years, might have 
reached a hundred and fifty years, if in all things they had 
obeyed the laws of life. Besides, were it a known truth, 
that in the present state of the human constitution, no 
individual possesses the power to live more than a hundred 
years, this would not prove that individuals cannot be 
produced in the fourth generation from the present, with 
constitutional power to live a hundred and fifty or two 
hundred years: — and T repeat that, correct physiological 
science afTords no evidence that the human constitution 
is not capable of gradually returning to the primitive 
longevity of the species. 

§ 075. On the whole then, true physiological science 
alone, can teach us how to live, in order to secure the 
best health and attain to the greatest longevity of which 
the human constitution is capable; and correct and con-, 
tinued experiment alone, can prove to us how long the 


human consiitution can be made to resist the causes 
which induce death, (§ 126.) and sustain the healthful 
operations of the vital economy. 

§6 76. But I am told that, all this reasoning leaves 
God out of sight; and contradicts the sacred scripture 
Which affirms that " the days of our years are threescore 
years and ten, and if by reason of strength they be four- 
score years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow, for 
it is soon cut off and we fly away." — L reply that, 
if God had actually and absolutely limited human 
life to seventy or eighty years, then no man could 
possibly exceed eighty years: — but we know that, many 
individuals do exceed eighty years of life, and that some 
exceed a hundred; and therefore, we have a perfect 
demonstration that God has not absolutely limited the 
length of human life to eighty or a hundred years; and 
consequently, we know that the scripture cited, is not 
the annunciation of a decree of God nor a prophecy; but 
simply a historical record of the fact that, at the time 
when it was written, human life rarely exceeded seventy 
or eighty years; and that those who attained to eighty 
years were extremely infirm, and helpless, and had little 
enjoyment of their existence. But Isaiah, when speaking 
prophetically of that period in the Gospel dispensation, 
when the* laws of God shall reign in the hearts and govern 
the actions of mankind, explicitly affirms that, the period 
of human life shall be greatly prolonged; and that, there 
shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old 
man that hath not filled his days; but their days shall be 
as the days of a tree. 

§677. As to my leaving God out of sight, I con- 
tend that all my reasoning is founded on the fixed laws 
which God has ordained and established in the nature of 
things. (§110.) I acknowledge that, God has the power 

474 graham's lectures on the 

counteract or suspend the laws which he has established in 
the constitutional nature of man, as well as those which 
he has established in the constitution of the solar system; 
and I contend therefore, that it would be just as reason- 
able to assert that, the astronomer leaves God out of 
sight, in all his reasonings, because he calculates the 
movements of the heavenly bodies according to ihe 
fixed laws which God has established in nature, to gov- 
ern their movements, as it is to raise that objection 
against the physiologist, because he reasons according to 
those fixed principles which God has established in the 
constitutional nature of man. If God has constructed 
man of such materials and upon such principles as render 
him capable of living just one thousand years and no 
more, by a perfect obedience of the laws of life; then God 
has actually set the utmost limits of human life at a thou- 
sand years, and beyond this point no means and no con- 
ditions can carry us. But if at the same time, God has 
established in our nature such laws of constitution and 
relation, as that, if man lives in a certain manner he can 
only reach seventy or eighty years, then it may be said 
that God has conditionally limited the period of human 
life to seventy or eighty years: — but this conditional limit- 
ation does not stand in the way of n an's prolonging life 
to the full extent of the original capabilities of the human 
constitution. — If it is objected that, God foreknows, or 
has decreed the precise length of every man's life, and 
no human means nor conditions can add to, nor take from 
that fixed period a single hour or second of time; then I 
reply that God has also decreed the precise means and 
conditions by which the life of each individual shall be 
carried to its fixed termination: and God has just as cer- 
tainly decreed the efforts which I make to secure human 
health and to prolong human life, as he has decreed the 


length of any man's life:-and if he has decreed that the 
length of human life shall not be affected by my efforts, 
then he has also decreed that mankind shall give no heed 
to my instructions, but go on in their own ways, and ful- 
fil their appointed time. 

§ 67S. Again, I am told that this is making a long life 
of more importance, than a good life, and leads people to 
think more of the welfare of the body than of the soul;— 
that it causes them to feel a security in life and conse- 
quently to neglect their religious interests.— But these 
objections are wholly founded in error. We have seen; 
(§613.) that such are the fixed constitutional relations 
between the animal and moral nature of man, and such 
are the fixed constitutional relations between man and his 
Creator and his fellow creatures, that the true principles 
of health and longevity, and the true principles of virtue 
and religion are inseparable. An individual, by a correct 
physical regimen, may maintain very good bodily health 
and reach an advanced period of life without any true piety 
and with very little moral virtue; — so also an individual, 
by embracing correct moral and religious principles, and 
cultivating correct moral and religious sentiments, may 
attain to much virtue and piety, without a proper regard 
to physical regimen: but in the former case the individual 
will come short of that perfect bodily health and enjoy- 
ment, and of that full duration of life — and in the latter 
case the individual will come short of that elevated decree 
of virtue and piety and happiness, which a full conformity 
to the laws of his whole nature would certainly secure to 
him. Therefore, if without any special regard to health 
and longevity, my only desire were to promote the 
highest and most perfect degree of virtue and piety in 
mankind, I would teach precisely the same principles that 
I now do. The consideration of the uncertainty of life, 

4 76 


may at first, serve to awaken our inquiries concerning our 
nature, our condition, our destiny and our responsibilities, 
and thus, to some extent, be the means of our becoming 
virtuous and pious. But the fear of death is not in itself, 
favorable to health nor long life; — neither is the diead of 
death nor the fear of punishment in itself virtue nor piety. 
Tlie fear of hell is not the lcve of heaven; — nor is the 
fear of Satan, the love of God. It is only when we 
che i ih and piactise virtue because we love virtue, and 
love God because he is intrinsically lovely, that our vir- 
tue a..d piety are acceptable to God, felicitous to our- 
selves, and most beneficial to our fellow creatures: — and 
all the doctrines which I teach are adapted to lead men 
to receive and obey the truth in the love of it, — to be 
virtuous for virtue's sake, to dwell in God because he is 
Love; and thus at the same time and by the same princi- 
ples secure bodily health, long life, elevated virtue and 
true and exalted godliness. "If ye know these things, 
happy are ye if ye do them." 

§ 679. But many say, — it is not desirable to live to be 
so old and decrepit and full of infirmities and ailments. 
Who, they demand, would wish to outlive their useful- 
ness and enjoyment, — to lean in trembling feebleness 
upon the staff, — to sink into the helplessness of second 
childhood, — to have the senses one after another blotted 
out, and all the faculties of soul and body gradually decay, till 
we become a melancholy spectacle of human frailness and 
imbecility ,— a burden to ourselves and all around us, — 
our dearest children wishing us in heaven? — This is in- 
deed, a condition not to be desired! — nor is it the ne- 
cessary condition of old age. They who make sensual 
enjoyment the chief end of their existence, and live in the 
continual violation of the laws of their nature, must of 
necessity, either perish untimely by violent disease, or 


sink into that melancholy and shocking decay which is 
so common to old age. But that old age to which I 
would lead mankind is the rich and mellow autumn of 
our earthly existence, — that period of our lives in which 
the cares and conflicts of the world are left behind, — 
when all the passions are brought into subjection to a holy 
spirit, — when the mind is ripe in wisdom, and the moral 
character has reached its full, terrestrial maturity of vir- 

§ 6S0. We have become so accustomed to see the 
sprightliness and vivacity of childhood subside into the 
grave sobriety of mature age even before the period of 
youth has passed by, and the vigor and activity of 
meridian life wither into decrepitude and dotage long 
before a hundred years are numbered, that we have learned 
to think such things must be, and to contemplate eld age 
only as the joyless period of feebleness, infirmity and 
exhausted powers and resources. — But though such things 
are the necessary consequences of certain habits and 
circumstances of life, in the present state of the human con- 
stitution, they are neither necessary nor natural to the 
constitution in its highest and healthiest state. 

§ 6S1. In healthy childhood we see almost an exuler- 
ance of action, cheerfulness and enjoyment; and we love 
to behold the sprightliness and buoyancy of that period. 
—With a heart full of sympathy and delight the fond 
parent sees his child running and leaping like the playlul 
lamb and colt, and rejoices in the happiness of his 
offspring; yet before that child has reached the a ? e of 
manhood, if the baleful habits and circumstances of civic 
life have not completely blighted all his youthful spright- 
liness and vivacity, he is austerely rebuked for every 
manifestation of them and sedulously taught to smother 
and disguise them with outward sedateness and gravity, 

473 graiiam's lectures on the 

as if youthfulness of feeling and of action were not only 
improper but immoral: aid if in later periods of life, 
something of the buoyancy of childhood should occasion- 
ally disclose itself, it is regarded as the effect either of 
mental delirium or of so ne intoxicating substance. For 
such is the g3neral stupidity of the race, that the idea of 
natural youthfulness of feeling after man has reached the 
age of maturity, cannot be understood. 

§ 632. But this is all wrong and unnatural, in notion 
and in fact. If sprightliness and vivacity and cheerfulness 
be innocent and pleasing in early childhood, why should 
they not continue to be so in youth and manhood, and all 
along through life, even to the latest period of our earthly 
existence? — There is no reason in nature why they should 
not; but every valid reason why they should! — and the 
opinion which is commonly entertained on this subject 
has sprung from sheer superstition growing out of the 
unhealthy state of things; and not from a sound and rational 
inorality and religion. For, as we have seen, (§ 613.) no 
moral or civil law or religious doctrine can be adapted to 
the highest and best condition of man's moral nature, 
which is not strictly consistent with the physiological 
laws of his bvly, and it is entirely certain that the highest 
physiological interests of our nature require that youthful- 
ness should be preserved and prolonged to the greatest 
extent. And youthfulness is as truly capable of being 
preserved and prolonged, as life itself is, and both depend 
on the same means and conditions. 

§633. I have said (§644.) that, if there ever was a 
state of the human constitution which enabled it to sustain 
the functions of life for several hundred years, that state 
necessarily involved a general keeping or harmony of 
relative conditions. The vital processes were much 
less rapid and intense and much more complete than at 


present; — the development of the body was much slower, 
and the organization much more perfect; — childhood and 
adolescence were proportionately protracted, and the 
change from youth to manhood took place at a much 
greater remove from birth. And whether the con- 
stitution be capable of a thousand or a hundred years 
of life, this keeping or harmony of relative conditions 
must always necessarily correspond with its capability of 
duration. Hence therefore, if in the present state of the 
human constitution, we would aim at the longest and 
healthiest and happiest life, we can secure our object 
in the highest degree possible, only by a strict confor- 
mity to those physiclcgi< al laws by which ycuthfulness is 
also preserved and prolonged in corresponding propor- 
tion. And if by such means the duration of human life 
should, in the course of several generations, be prolong- 
ed to several hundred years, the period of childhood and 
youth would be proportionately protracted, and a much 
greater degree of youthfulness would extend through the 
whole duration of our earthly pilgrimage. 

§ 684. We have seen (§ 124.) that all organic bodies 
are composed of solids and fluids. \n the earliest state 
of our existence, the human tcdy consists mainly of flu- 
ids.* All the solids are exceedingly soft and pulpy and 
moist or juicy. — As life advances, the sclids gradually 
become more and more consistent and compact and firm, 
and their relative proportion increases upon that of the 
fluids, until, in old age as we now see it, they become 
comparatively dry and rigid; and sometimes extremely 
so. (§185. 188. 195. 200. 307.) 

§ 685. All the solids of the body, we have seen, (§ 146.) 

* The proportion of the fluids to the solids in the adult body, has 
been estimated as ten to one. In early childhood the difference is 
much greater. 

480 graham's lectures on the 

are formed from fluids upon the most precise and deter- 
minate constitutional principles, and there are between 
the solids and fluids the most precise and fixed constitu- 
tional relations, (§ 142.) so that, in their perfectly nor- 
mal and healthy state, they are, in their qualities and sus- 
ceptibilities, perfectly adapted to act on, and to be acted 
on by each other, with the most healthful and happy effect; 
and the highest physiological and psychological interests of 
our nature can be secured only by the preservation of this 
state of things. (§301.) In this physiological condition of 
the system all the functions of life are healthfully and vig- 
orously performed, — the organic and animal sensibilities 
are agreeably excited by their appropriate stimuli, — 
(§ 305.) the animal consciousness is grateful and joyous, 
and the spirits are buoyant and cheerful, filling the whole 
body and soul with sprightliness and vivacity. 

§ 636. In early life, when the relative proportion of 
the fluids is greatest, when the susceptibilities and sen- 
sibilities of the solids are most pure and delicate, and 
when the fluids and the solids are most perfectly adapt- 
ed to each other, then also the natural activity and viva- 
city and sprightliness and buoyant cheerfulness are great- 
est. (§6S1.) The infant in its mother's lap, delights 
in the constant motion of its little limbs: — the older 
child, which is able to run alone, is happy in continual 
action and laughs aloud with instinctive joyfulness. 

§ 637. If this physiological condition of the body 
could always be preserved, this psychological condition 
or state of the soul would always remain; and the viva- 
city and cheerfulness of youth would continue through 
life. (§305.) But the peculiar instinctive activity of 
childhood and youth has for its final cause, the full and 
vigorous development of the body. And when this end is 
effected, neither the organic nor the animal nor the intel- 


lectual nor moral wants of man, as an individual or as 
a social being, require that this instinctive propensity to 
action should continue equally powerful through life: 
and hence, with the gradual changes which take place in 
the development and maturity of the body, (§684.) this 
instinctive propensity to action gradually subsides, till 
instinct gives place to reason, and leaves the body more 
to the moral control of the man, to act or rest as the 
wants and the duties of life require. But, though that 
exuberance of buoyant vivacity which is the spirit of the 
youthful instinct to action, with the instinct itself, gradu- 
ally subsides to the healthful sobriety of manhood, yet 
much of the serenity and vivacity and cheerfulness of 
youth may, and ought to be preserved through life. 

§ 688. In the best regulated habits and circumstances 
of life — even if all the physiological laws of the system 
are strictly obeyed, the change in the relative proportion 
of the solids and fluids (§6S4.) must necessarily take 
place, and with that change something of the buoyancy 
and vivacity of youth will subside into the more serene 
tranquillity of mature age. — But in such an obedience of 
the physiological laws of the body, this change will take 
place very slowlv, — childhood and youth will be pro- 
longed, — the period of vigorous manhood will be greatly 
protracted, — the decline of life will be very gradual, — old 
age will be free from decrepitude and dotage, and ripe in 
experience and goodness; and much of the natural activi- 
ty and vivacity and cheerfulness of youth, will be pre- 
served through the whole of life — even to the latest 
period of our earthly existence. (§786.) 

§ 689. Such an old age therefore, is not only desirable 
to the individual himself, but to society at large; for in it 
man will not only retain all the physiological and psycho- 
logical powers requisite for his own calm and rich enjoy- 

482 graham's lectures on the 

ment, but all which patriarchal usefulness in society re- 
quires. If his bodily appetites have been kept in sub- 
jection to physiological and moral truth, (§613.) and if 
his intellectual and moral faculties have been properly 
cultivated, his bodily powers will be adequate to all the 
wants and duties of old age, — his natural senses will be 
little impaired, — his intellectual and moral faculties will 
be vigorous and active, — the more ardent passions of 
early life will be chastened down, — the moral man will 
have become wholly paramount to the animal, and he will 
have attained to that maturity of wisdom and virtue which 
makes his last days the happiest period of his life, and pre- 
eminently fits him to commune continually in spirit with 
his God, and to exert a sanctifying influence on all around 
him. The old will reverence his counsels and the young 
will love his society and his instructions. 

§ 690. Such is the old age which God designed for man 
in his innocence and purity ; and such is the old age which 
man is yet capable of attaining to, and enjoying! — "But 
whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap! — He 
that soweth to the flesh must of the flesh reap corrup- 
tion." This is a solemn declaration of what, in the 
constitutional nature of things, is necessarily true, and 
therefore is inevitable. By the continued violation of 
the laws of life, we not only hasten the change in the rel- 
ative proportion of the solids and fluids of the body, 
(§ 684.) but yet more rapidly and mischievously effect a 
change in their relative conditions, (§ 685.) developing 
unhealthy susceptibilities and sensibilities in the solids, 
and filling the fluid with acrid and irritating properties, 
and thus rendering them wholly unfit to act on, and to 
be acted on by each other. By these means all the 
physiological powers and functions of the body are im- 
paired, — the periods of childhood and youlh and vigorous 


manhood are greatly abbreviated, — the natural buoyancy 
and vivacity and cheerfulness of childhood and youth 
are early annihilated, and depression and sadness and 
unhappiness take their place; and disease and suffering 
and melancholy and untimely death invade every hour of 
human existence: and most of the very few, who, through 
all these ills and hazards, reach a premature old age at 
seventy or eighty years, find it a period of feebleness 
and decrepitude and ailment and cheerless dotage, in 
which the natural senses are exceedingly impaired or 
wholly blotted out, and the intellectual and moral powers 
appear to have sunk into fearful, and perhaps utter decay! 
and all that remains of the living body is capable of little 
enjoyment in itself, and is the object of the painful care, 
and, it may be, the loathing of others. 

§691. The change in the relative proportion of the 
solids and fluids, (§ 6S4.) I have said, (§688.) must 
necessarily take place as life advances, even with the 
most perfect obedience to the physiological laws of the 
body; and this change may slowly progress in perfect 
consistency with the best of health, and with scarcely an 
appreciable abatement of natural vivacity and cheerful- 
ness, from childhood to the latest hours of life. The 
more slowly and healthfully this change is effected, the 
more protracted will be the periods of childhood and 
youth and vigorous manhood, and the more gradual and 
healthful and happy will be the decline of life, and the 
more of youthfulness will be carried up through all the 
stages of our earthly existence. But there is no con- 
stitutional necessity for the change in the relative condi- 
tions of the solids and fluids of the body, (§ 685.) with 
which the evils I have spoken of (§690.) are insepara- 
bly connected. By a strict observance of the laws of 
life, these may be preserved in unimpaired healthfulness 

484 graham's lectures on the 

and purity from the commencement of our existence till 
the vital functions of the system shall falter and their 
integrity fail from the exhaustion of the constitution in 
extreme old age. This change, so fraught with ill to 
man in all respects, is almost entirely the result of his 
voluntary action. The causes by which it is effected 
act on him by his own consent, though he may not sus- 
pect, or may deprecate the consequences. It may be 
produced with terrible rapidity and violence, causing the 
most painful and fatal disease: (§ 1000.) or it may be 
effected so gradually and by such imperceptible degrees, 
as to impair all the vital powers and functions of the 
system, abbreviate the period of life, and bring on a pre- 
mature old age full of decrepitude and infirmity, without 
ever being attended with any violent symptoms of acute 
disease; and too frequently without ever being suspected 
as the source of evil to the sufferer. 

§ 692. Whether therefore, our object be the healthiest 
and longest life, the happiest old age or the most exalted 
virtue and piety, it is equally important that, by all means 
in our power, we should preserve our natural youthfulness 
and vivacity and cheerfulness with the least possible 
abatement, during the whole of our earthly existence. 
(§ 685.) Instead of endeavoring to suppress and subdue 
the youthfulness of our children and to bring them to 
staid maturity at twenty years of age, we ought to cher- 
ish their youthfulness by every proper means and endeav- 
or to make them young at forty. And this is precisely the 
precept of Solomon in that passage of Scripture which has 
been so frequently and so egregiously perverted . * " Enjoy 
thy youth, O young man! — cherish and preserve the 
healthful cheerfulness of thy young heart, and be happy 
in the natural buoyancy and vivacity and sprightliness of 
* Ecclesiastes xi. 9. 


thy early life! — but remember, in all thy enjoyment, that 
thou art an accountable being! — that thou art under the 
natural and moral government of an omniscient, omnip- 
otent, and infinitely wise and just God! (§613.) and 
that thou canst not violate the laws of thy nature with 
impunity, nor transgress them without evil: — and there- 
fore, at all times carefully refrain from every indulgence 
and every pleasure, by which thy youthfulness shall be 
impaired and thy soul depraved: (§530.) and withhold 
thyself from all undue anxiety and labor for riches and 
honor; and all inordinate ambition and toil for knowledge 
and for renown; and from every other excess by which 
thy health will be destroyed and thy cheerfulness blight- 
ed and thy spirit broken, and thy life filled with disquie- 
tude and suffering and sorrow; and by which thou wilt be 
prematurely cut off from among the living, or experience 
a joyless old age, full of decrepitude and despondency and 
gloom! — For thy Creator is a God of love and delight- 
eth not in thy misery, but in thy happiness: — and thou 
canst not be permanently happy without a conformity to 
the laws of thy nature, which he has established in infi- 
nite wisdom and benevolence!" 



Laws of constitution and relation established in every thing — In the hu- 
man blood, and all the substances from which it is formed, and 
which are formed from it — In and between all the organs of the body, 
and all substances designed for them to act on — Relations of the 
Btomach to all organs and substances in the body — to all alimentary 
substances without — No organ acts for itself alone — Organs of exter- 
nal relation, primary and secondary — Relations of the eye to light 
and the visual properties of things — Relations of the organ of smell to 
odors, &c. — Healthy and unhealthy odors — Depravity of the olfactory 
sense — Relations of the organ of taste to gustatory properties — The 
depravity of the gustatory sense — Gustatory enjoyment gieatest in 
those whose dietetics habits are most simple — Anecdote of the epi- 
cure — Constitutional relations of the teeth to the organs and substan- 
ces of the body and to the nature and condition of the food — Consti- 
tutional relations of the lungs to the blood, &c internally, to the 
atmosphere, &c. externally — Constitutional relations of the stomach 
to the blood, &c. internally, and to all alimentary substances exter- 
nally — Its nice organic sensibility — This may be depraved — The 
consequence of this depravity — Relations of the stomach to the 
stimulating properties of food — Relations of the stomach to the bulk 
or proportions of the nutritious and innutrilious matter of food — 
Illustrations — Experiments of Dr. Stark — Relations of the sense of 
hunger to the internal wants and external supplies — Relations of the 
sense of thirst. 

Laws of Constitution and Relation established in the 
Human Body. 

§ 693. In every part of my general argument thus far, 
I have endeavored to keep prominently in view the im- 

graham's lectures, etc. 487 

portance of the laws of constitution and the laws of relation, 
in every form of matter and mode of existence. (§ 140. 
144.) And these, I have insisted, are established, not 
only in wisdom, but in benevolence, (§ 692.) and aim as 
much at a result of happiness as of utility. (§ G13.) We 
have seen that all the solids of the human body may be 
resolved to three general tissues. (§ 156.) The cellular, 
the muscular, and the nervous; and that, the vital elas- 
ticity of the cellular tissue, the vital susceptibility and 
contractility of the muscular tissue, the nervous and sen- 
sorial powers of the nervous tissue, together with the 
vital affinities which are under the control of the nervous 
power, constitute the grand elements of power, (§ 312.) 
by which all the operations of the vital economy are car- 
ried on, and all its effects are produced. And these 
vital properties of the several tissues, in all their delicate 
modifications, of special susceptibility and organic and 
animal sensibility, (§292. — 296.) depend on the consti- 
tutional natures of the tissues to which they belong, 
(§ 140. 142.) and every infraction of these laws of con- 
stitution and relation, necessarily impairs in some degree, 
the vital properties of the tissues, and functional powers 
of the organs composed of the tissues. 

§ 694. We have seen also, that the human blood has 
a fixed constitutional nature, holding a fixed relation to 
the substances from which it is elaborated. (§ 142.) As 
a general statement, human blood can be elaborated from 
all vegetable and animal substances: — every moving thing 
that liveth, as well as every green herb or vegetable, can 
be made meat for man; — but the vital constitution and 
properties of the blood nicely vary with the varying quali- 
ties of the food: and hence the blood holds a fixed and 
precise constitutional relation to the particular kinds of 
substances on which man can subsist: — and consequently, 

488 graham's lectures on the 

the vital constitution and properties of the blood are more 
or less perfectly adapted to the final causes of our organi- 
zation, and to the highest and best condition of human 
nature, according to the character of the particular sub- 
stances on which we subsist. If therefore, our food is not 
what it should be, our blood, as a general and permanent 
fact, cannot be what it should be. — It is true that, while 
the assimilating powers of the vital economy are vigorous 
and unimpaired, a considerable integrity of functional re- 
sults may be maintained by that economy, for a longer or 
shorter time, even though the alimentary substances from 
which it elaborates the blood, are not best adapted to the 
wants of the system; — yet such substances necessarily in 
a greater or less degree impair the assimilating powers 
of the vital economy, and in the end, deteriorate the func- 
tional results. 

§ 695. Again, each of the solids and fluids of the 
human system, formed from the blood, has a fixed con- 
stitutional nature, (§ 142.) holding fixed and precise re- 
lations to the blood, and to each other, so that, if the blood 
is not what it should be, these cannot be what they 
should be. The cellular, the muscular and nervous tis- 
sues cannot be produced by the vital economy from any 
thing else than true animal blood, and therefore, each of 
these tissues has not only a fixed constitutional nature 
peculiar to itself, but necessarily also, a fixed and precise 
constitutional relation to the constitutional nature of the 
blood, and through the blood to the substances from which 
the blood is elaborated; and as they are all produced by 
one and the same vital economy from one and the same 
current of blood, (§ 507.) they necessarily hold fixed 
relations to each other. 

§ 696. The vital properties of the tissues (§ 312.) in 
all their delicate modifications, depending on the consti* 


tutional nature of the tissues, (§ 693.) necessarily hold 
fixed and precise relations to the constitutional nature of 
the blood: — so that, these properties always nicely vary 
with the varying character of the hlood, and hence, what- 
ever deteriorates the constitutional nature of the blood, 
necessarily, as a general fact, impairs the vital elasticity 
of the cellular tissue, the vital susceptibility and contrac- 
tility of the muscular tissue, and the nervous and senso- 
rial powers of the nervous tissue, in all their delicate 
modifications: — and on the other hand, whatever impairs 
the vital properties of the tissues, necessarily, as a gen- 
eral fact, deteriorates the constitutional nature of the 
blood. — Constitutional relations ecjually determinate, ex- 
ist between all the fluids of the system, and between the 
fluids and the solids. (§6S5.) 

§097. Such are the laws of constitution and relation 
which a wise and benevolent Creator has established in, 
and between all the particular substances of which our 
bodies are composed: and hence of necessity, the con- 
stitutional and functional laws of relation between all the 
organs of the system, and between each of these and each 
and all the particular substances of which our bodies are 
composed, are equally precise and determinate. Thus, 
the stomach is organized with fixed and precise relations 
to all the other organs, and to the blood and every other 
subslance of the body: and the functions of the stomach 
necessarily hold fixed and precise relations to the blood, 
and to all the other substances of the body, and to the 
functions of all the other organs; — and all this is true of 
each and every other organ of the system. Each organ 
has its particular function to perform, — yet no organ can 
perform its function independently of the others; and no 
organ can sustain itself by its own function: — on the con- 
trary, each organ exhausts its vital puweis tnid wastes its 

490 graham's lectures on the 

substance by the performance of its own particular func- 
tion, (§ 376.) and is replenished and nourished and sus- 
tained by the united functions of the whole assemblage 
of organs. The alimentary canal, (§320.) digests food 
for the whole system; the lacteals (§ 388.) elaborate 
chyle for the whole system, and the liver and kidneys 
and blood-vessels and lungs and skin, perform their func- 
tions for the whole system, and therefore the function of 
no one organ can be impaired, without involving the 
whole system in the consequences. Such is the depen- 
dence of each organ upon the whole system, and of the 
whole system upon each organ: — and such are the fixed 
and important laws of constitution and relation appertain- 
ing to the internal economy of the human body. (§ 297. 

§ 698. But the human body subsists on foreign sub- 
stances, (§ 209.) or materials which are extrinsic and 
separated from itself; and therefore it is furnished with 
organs of external relation, (§210.) which are consti- 
tuted with fixed and precise relations to the constitutional 
nature of the blood, and to all the other substances of 
which the body is composed, and with fixed and precise 
relations to the constitutional nature of the external sub- 
stances, designed for the nourishment of the body. The 
primary organs of this class, are the alimentary canal, the 
lungs and the skin: — and for the supply of the wants of 
the vital economy, and the protection of the vital welfare, 
we are furnished with organs of external perception, of 
locomotion and of prehension. (§ 233.) The organs of 
external perception are those of touch, taste, smell, hear- 
ing and sight.— The organs of locomotion are the lower 
extremities — or the legs and feet. The organs of pre- 
hension are the upper extremities, or the arms and hands. 


Constitutional Relations of the Organs of Sight, Hearing, 
Smell and Taste. 

§ G99. The organs of sight, (§ 409. et. seq.) are con- 
stituted with the most precise and fixed relations to the 
constitutional nature of light, and to those properties of 
external things, of which light is the medium of percep- 
tion: (§ 564.) so that when the organs are in a perfectly 
normal state, and the light is pure and perfectly natural, 
we have a perfect visual perception of all external objects 
to which the eye is directed: but whatever impairs the 
constitutional nature of the organs, necessarily impairs 
their visual powers; and the visual perception of external 
things is commensurately less perfect: and hence what- 
ever impairs the sensorial powers of the nervous system, 
necessarily impairs our visual powers. (§ 1136.) But 
we have seen that, there are fixed and precise constitu- 
tional relations between all the tissues (§695.) and sub- 
stances of the body, and therefore whatever deteriorates 
the constitutional nature of any of the tissues of the body, 
(§ 696.) as a general fact, impairs the visual powers of 
our organs of sight: — and all this is true of the organs of 
hearing, smell, taste and touch. 

§ 700. The organs of smell (§398.) and taste (§397.) 
are more especially the instruments of instinct, employed 
in the functions of respiration and alimentation, as senti- 
nels on the out-posts of the vital domain. — Every vege- 
table and animal substance, and many inorganic substances 
possess specific properties in relation to animal life, and to 
the wants of the vital economy of animal bodies. Some 
of these are salutary and some are baneful: and each 
of these substances imparts an odor to the surround- 

492 graham's lectures on the 

ing atmosphere, exactly characteristic of its specific prop- 
erties. Our organ of smell therefore, is constituted with 
fixed and precise relations to the constitutional nature of 
the blood, and other substances of the body, — to the gen- 
eral wants of the vital economy, — to the organization and 
functional powers of the lungs and stomach, within, and 
with fixed and precise relations to the qualities of odors, 
without. — So that, in a perfectly normal and undepraved 
state of the organ, it detects the qualities of odors with 
the nicest accuracy; and unerringly discriminates between 
what is good or salutary for the living body, and what 
is baneful or injurious. — Physiologists, judging from the 
depraved condition of the human organs, universally as- 
sert that the instinctive power of smell is naturally far 
less keen and discriminating in man than in many of the 
lower animals. But this is entirely incorrect. — Reason- 
ing a priori , from the nature of things, we should be led 
to conclusions different from the doctrine of the schools 
on this subject: — and we know, from the most complete 
experiment, that were the human species reared, from 
birth to maturity, in as strict accordance with the consti- 
tutional laws of their nature, as are the lower animals in 
a pure state of nature, the faculty of smell in man would 
at least equal, and probably far excel that of any other 
animal, in exquisite delicacy of perception, and in dis- 
criminating power, for the instinctive purposes of the 
system. It would enable us, with unerring accuracy, to 
select or to avoid instinctively whatever is salutary or bane- 
ful — whatever is beneficial or injurious to us, in those quali- 
ties of tilings appreciable by smell. And therefore, the 
faculty was given to us, not only as a means of enjoyment, 
but pre-eminently to serve the instinctive purposes of 
the vital economy, (§ 606.) in detecting the specific 


characters of external things in relation to life, by the 
odors which they impart.* 

§ 701 . The organ of smell is a sentinel for both the 
lungs and the alimentary canal. It is of the utmost 
importance to the vital welfare of the body, that pure air 
should be constantly received into the lungs at every 
inspiration of breath; and hence the olfactory nerves are 
distributed over the lining membrane of the cavities of 
the nose, (§399.) through which the air passes into the 
lungs; and when in a perfectly healthy and undepraved 
state, they detect, with the nicest powers of discrimina- 
tion and integrity of instinct, every odorous property of 
the atmosphere, which is unfriendly to life; and the ani- 
mal, being thus informed of the presence of an unwhole- 
some atmosphere, is able to suspend respiration for a 
very short time (§ 302.) and to hasten from the offend- 
ing cause. 

§ 702. It is not only true that some odors are in them- 
selves baneful to the human body when received into the 
lungs, in any quantity, but it is also true that odors 
which are themselves innoxious and delightful when 
properly diluted with pure air, become exceedingly 
oppressive and even dangerous to us when too much con- 
centrated, or when the air which we breathe is too deeply 
freighted with them. — Thus, a person whose system is 
pure and whose olfactory nerves are perfectly healthy 
and undepraved, will feel a severe nervous oppres- 
sion accompanied with more or less pain in the head, 
flush of the face, quickened pulse, general symptoms 
of fever attended with chills, and perhaps followed by 

* It is a remarkable fact, according to both Soemmerring and Bln- 
menbach, that the organ of smell is smaller in the civilized portions of 
the human family than in those who are little removed from the sav.-ige 


494 graham's lectures on the 

profuse perspiration, if he breathes for a short time the 
air which is loaded with the perfumes of a garden ol 
roses and other flowers; or the air of a room containing 
several pots of geranium.* And therefore, while the 
natural distribution of flowers and fragrant herbs over 
the face of the earth imparts a healthful perfume to the 
atmosphere, — affording us a rich enjoyment in the exer- 
cise of our sense of smell, and evincing the goodness 
as well as the wisdom of the Creator, the cultivating and 
crowding of large numbers of fragrant flowers and plants 
together in gardens and houses, is decidedly unfriendly to 
the physiological welfare of our bodies. So true is it that 
an infinitely wise and benevolent God has created us with 
such a nature, and established in our nature such consti- 
tutional relations to external things, that, while we have 
high and healthful enjoyment in the proper exercise oi 
all our faculties and powers, we cannot make the grati- 
fication of any of our senses a source of enjoyment 
beyond the fulfilment of the constitutional purposes for 
which those senses were instituted, without jeoparding 
all the interests of our nature and finding disease and suf- 
fering in our pursuit of happiness. 

§ 703. But some will say that, such an exquisitely deli- 
cate power of smell is far from being desirable; — that 
they would not wish to possess such keen olfactory sen- 
sibility as to feel oppressed and pained by the rich fra- 
grance of a flower garden, and the delightful breath of 
the domesticated geranium. Yet let them remember that, 
by divesting themselves of this sensibility, they do not 
alter the constitutional relations between the odors which 
they breathe and the vital properties and interests of their 

* Many individuals have died suddenly in consequence of inspiring 
the too powerful perfume of roses and other fragrant flowers accumu- 
lated in large quantities. 


bodies! — Whether the olfactory sentinel which a wise 
and benevolent God has placed on the outposts of the 
vital domain, performs with strict integrity the duties for 
which it was placed there, or not, still the properties 
which the inspired air carries into the lungs are equally 
lalutary or baneful to the vital interests of the body. — Let 
them remember also, that by divesting themselves of that 
exquisitely delicate sensibility of the olfactory nerves, 
which renders them unable to inhale the air that is too 
deeply loaded with the fragrance of a flower garden, 
without oppression and pain, they thereby necessarily 
divest themselves of that nice olfactory power, with 
which God has endowed them, to discriminate instinct- 
ively between salutary and poisonous odors and sub- 
stances. — Thus, like the rebellious Israelites in the 
wilderness, they drive away that spirit of truth with 
which God had endowed their organs, to guide them in 
the way of life and health and happiness, and yielding 
themselves up to their sensualities, they sink deeper and 
deeper in depravity, till they learn perhaps to find their 
greatest delight in breathing the most poisonous odors of 
the vegetable kingdom; and receive their deadliest enemy 
into their bosoms as their dearest friend, without the 
slightest suspicion of their danger; and millions perish 
with every form of disease and suffering, cherishing with 
unbounded confidence to the last moment, as their most 
tried friend and greatest comforter, the very enemy that 
thus treacherously destroys their lives. — It were infinitely 
more wise then, to cherish the strictest integrity of those 
sentinels which God, in wisdom and in goodness, has 
established for the protection of our vital interests, and to 
obey their holiest dictates and shun or remove whatever 
offends them, than to destroy their integrity, that we 
may feel secure in the presence of our enemies, and 
revel in unsuspecting confidence in the midst of danger. 

496 graham's lectures on the 

§ 704. Besides thus acting as sentinel to the lungs, to 
protect them from impure air, the organ of smell, as I have 
stated, (§ 701.) is also, in its perfectly healthy and unde- 
praved state, a sentinel to the alimentary canal, (§ 294.) 
and enables us instinctively, with unerring accuracy, 
to discriminate between those substances which are salu- 
tary and proper for our nourishment, and those which 
are poisonous or unsuitable to be introduced into the 
stomach.* But this sentinel may be so depraved as to 
lose its discriminating power, and be no longer able to 
detect the baneful qualities of things, and thus become 
wholly unfitted to answer the instinctive purposes of the 
system. Indeed, it may become so excessively depraved 
as entirely to lose the power of appreciating odors; in 
which case the organ will only retain the ability to appre- 
ciate the degree of stimulation, without the least power 
to appreciate the quality of the stimulus. — Thus, snuff- 
takers always exceedingly deprave the sense of smell, and 
greatly impair, and often wholly destroy its power of 
discriminating between odors of the most opposite char- 
acter; and in some instances the power of smell is com- 
pletely destroyed, and the organ only retains the ability 
to appreciate the stimulation of the most powerful 
stimuli. In such cases, the parts to which the stimulus is 
applied, and those which are associated with them, 
become so accustomed to, and so dependent on the 

* " Without the aid of smell, the sense of taste would be very vague 
in its indications and limited in its range," says Professor Roget, and 
such is the prevailing opinion of physiologists; and yet Mr. Hill, who 
has not been able to smell even the most pungent odors for the last 
ten years, (see Note to §573.) assures me that his sense of taste 
remains good and nicely discriminating in all gustatory qualities; but he 
finds, since he lost his smell, that he used often to confound gustatory 
with olfactory perception in his mind, and suppose he tasted qualities 
which in reality he smelt. This is undoubtedly a common error. 


artificial stimulus for their wonted excitement, that the 
natural and appropriate stimuli of the system are wholly 
inadequate to save them from that deep and distressing 
prostration which necessarily results from their habitual 
and shocking debauchery; and therefore, they become 
exceedingly eager, and even vehemently importunate in 
their demands for the artificial stimulus, and will not 
be pacified without it. Hence the power of such habits, 
and the great difficulty of breaking them up. 

§ 705. To preserve the natural purity and functional 
powers and integrity of the organ of smell, and to pre- 
vent the depravity which I have described, the sensi- 
bilities of the organ and the sympathies of the system 
unite to resist the encroachments of all depraving and 
offending causes. — Numerous filaments of the trifacial 
nerve (§254. 255. 256.) are distributed over the lining 
membrane of the cavities of the nose, where they are 
intimately associated with the filaments of the olfac- 
tory, or special nerve of smell. — The olfactory nerve 
possesses no sensibility except that which perceives 
odors. The common sensibility or feeling of the nasal 
cavities therefore, is wholly the property of the fila- 
ments of the trifacial. — These filaments have not in the 
slightest degree the power of perceiving odors: but so 
intimately connected in anatomical arrangement and 
functional relation are they with the olfactory nerve, that 
their healthy sensibility cannot be impaired without detri- 
ment to the sense of smell, and jeopardy to the whole 
system.— Hence, when any substance comes in contact 
with the lining membrane of the cavities of the nose, 
which is of a nature to impair the sense of smell, to injure 
the lungs, or to impair the vital properties of the trifacial 
nerve, or in any manner to jeopard the interests of the 
vital economy, the trifacial nerve instantly feels the pres- 

498 graham's lectures on the 

ence of the substance, and the membrane is excited to 
an increased secretion of mucus to shield the parts 
(§ 339.) from its poisonous or irritating properties; and 
if the offending cause is of such importance, either in 
quality or quantity, as considerably to endanger the sys- 
tem or the parts on which it acts, the trifacial nerve 
immediately gives a sympathetic alarm, which is instantly 
diffused over the domain of organic life, (§ 225.) and 
the instinctive powers of the system are at once called 
up to expel the invading foe. A deep, full breath is 
inhaled, and then the arch of the tongue is raised and 
pressed against the veil of the palate so as to prevent 
the air from passing out at the mouth — and the diaphragm, 
and the abdominal muscles which draw down the breast- 
bone and ribs, are suddenly and powerfully contracted, 
and the air of the lungs is violently driven out through 
the cavities of the nose for the purpose of expelling the 
offending cause. 

§ 706. Thus, if a person with a pure system and 
undepraved olfactory nerves, comes into the vicinity of a 
large quantity of tobacco, he instantly perceives the 
loathsome odor and at once detects its poisonous char- 
acter, and finds himself urged by many distressing feel- 
ings to avoid the deadly narcotic: — but if, regardless of 
these admonitions, he thrusts some powdered tobacco 
into his nose, his olfactory nerve still perceives and 
appreciates the poisonous odor, and the trifacial nerve 
feels the poisonous character of the irritating substance, 
and gives the alarm to the domain of organic life, and 
violent sneezing soon ensues as the instinctive means of 
expelling the offending cause. — If the offending cause 
is not removed by sneezing, the whole system soon 
becomes so much affected by the poison that the most 
distressing dizziness, and muscular relaxation and tremor 


and sickness at the stomach, and cold sweat, and 
vomiting and convulsions follow in rapid succession, in 
order both to expel the poison from the vital domain, 
and to cause us ever after, more cautiously to avoid so 
deadly and so foul an enemy. — But by commencing this 
career of depravity with cautiously measured steps at 
first, we may in time, succeed in utterly destroying the 
integrity of this important sentinel, and so completely 
deprave both the olfactory nerve, and the nasal portion 
of the trifacial, that, neither of them can any longer 
detect the poisonous character of the tobacco; but both 
of them will become so adapted to its properties, as to 
delight it its stimulation, with an intensity of morbid 
enjoyment equal to the depth of depravity to which they 
are reduced. — And thus the organ of smell, instead of 
guarding the vital domain like a true and faithful sentinel, 
against the encroachments of every enemy which it is 
naturally qualified to detect, not only ceases to give 
alarm to that domain when those enemies are approaching, 
but even throws open its gate and earnestly entreats those 
enemies to enter; and embraces the foulest and the 
deadliest of them all as the dearest and most valua- 
ble friend, and ushers it into the vital domain, pro- 
claiming with inebriated energy the introduction of 
a generous and glorious conservator. And thus, by 
sensual depravity, we transform a guardian angel of 
light into a treacherous demon of darkness; and still 
confiding in its integrity and fidelity to the vital domain, 
we receive into the very citadel of life the enemy which 
poisons all our wells of vitality, and with perfect infatua- 
tion rejoice in his destructive influence, and regard his 
withering embraces as the source of our highest enjoy- 
ment, and perish in the full belief that our destroyer is 
our truest friend, and perhaps, with our dying breath 

500 graham's lectures on the 

commend him to the confidence and kind regard of all 
around us. — Such are the natural consequences of dis- 
regarding the holiest and most delicate admonitions of 
those undepraved sentinels which a benevolent Creator 
has, for the preservation of our highest welfare and hap- 
piness, placed on the outposts of the vital domain. 
There is indeed a sense, in which it may be said, that 
sneezing is the voice of God in our nature, distinctly 
and unequivocally commanding us to avoid whatever 
causes us to sneeze. And let it ever be remembered, 
that although the constant application of snuff and other 
poisonous and pernicious substances to the lining mem- 
brane of the cavities of the nose, may so deprave the 
tissues of that membrane, and so impair their delicate 
and peculiar sensibilities, that they can no longer discern 
between good and evil — and no longer detect the poison- 
ous qualities of those substances, nor give the alarm of 
danger to the vital domain, by which sneezing and other 
instinctive efforts are called up to expel the offending 
cause, yet the real character of those substances, and 
their true relations to the vital powers and interests of 
our bodies, remain unaltered, and equally hostile to our 
life and health and happiness. 

§ 707. Most of the principles which I have now stated 
and explained, in regard to the faculty of smell, are also 
true concerning the faculty of taste. (§254. 397.) Every 
foreign or external substance which the human body has 
power to derive nourishment from, possesses a specific 
nature which holds a fixed and precise relation to the 
constitutional nature of the human blood (§G94.) and all 
the substances of the body (§ 695.) and to the general in- 
terests of the vital economy: — and each of these foreign 
substances has certain properties essential to its specific 
nature, and exactly characteristic of its relations to our 


living bodies, as a nutritious substance; and which we 
have not the least power to perceive by our sense of 
sight, hearing, smell nor touch. But God has endowed 
us with the special sense of taste, which is adapted with 
infinite wisdom and benevolence to those properties of 
nutrient substances, and by which we can detect and 
appreciate and discriminate them with the nicest and 
most delicate accuracy: and hence, there are between 
our organ of taste and the constitutional nature and 
gustatory properties of substances intended for our nour- 
ishment, the most fixed and precise constitutional laws 
of relation: and necessarily therefore, there are equally 
fixed and precise laws of relation between the organ of 
taste and the constitutional nature of our blood and other 
substances of which our bodies are composed. — The 
organ of taste then, is a most important sentinel of the 
alimentary canal; and its office is to perceive and appre- 
ciate the gustatory properties of all the substances receiv- 
ed into the mouth for the nourishment of the body, and 
nicely to discriminate between what is salutary for the 
body and adapted to the alimentary wants of the vital 
economy, and what is pernicious or offensive. — And 
when the system is pure and the organ of taste is in a 
perfectly normal and undepraved state, its perceptive and 
discriminating power in man, is equal to, if not greater 
than that of any other animal; (§19.) and man may be 
instinctively guided by it in the selection of his food 
(§425.) with unerring accuracy and safety. (§606. 607.)* 

* It is a prevailing opinion that man, being endowed with reason, 
required and received from the hands of his Creator, a much less 
nicelv discriminating power of taste and smell, than many, and perhaps 
most of the animals below him. But this notion is wrong both in fact 
and philosophv.-Suppose God were to create a full-sized man and 
endow him with the highest order of reasoning faculties, and place 
him in some portion of the earth uninhabited by the human race and ,a 

502 graham's lectures on the 

When the organ is in this state of integrity, if natural 
substances pernicious to life, or those which are not 
adapted to the constitutional wants of the body, are 
received into the mouth, their offensive character is 
instantly detected, a loathing is soon felt, and mucous 
and salivary secretions are poured into the mouth to 
shield the parts acted on, (§339.) and to flood the 
offending cause from the porch of the vital domain. — If 
the character of the offending substance be such as to 
render it exceedingly dangerous to the vital interests, or 
such as is wholly unfitted for the highest and best 
condition of our nature, the loathing will be so intense as 
powerfully to urge us to expel it from the mouth; and if 
we do not promptly obey this admonition, the sympathetic 
alarm will be diffused over the whole system, by the same 
means and in the same manner as in the nose, (§ 705.) 
and dreadful nausea and dizziness and muscular relaxa- 
tion and tremor and cold sweat and violent vomiting 
will ensue, as the instinctive means of the vital economy 

the midst of every variety of mineral and vegetable and animal sub- 
stances. Could that man's reason tell him what to eat ? — or in any 
manner determine what is salutary and what is poisonous ? Not 
one whit better than his hand could! — If he did not possess nicely 
discriminating powers of instinct to guide him unerringly to his proper 
food, he would, with all his rational faculties, be as likely to select a 
poisonous as a salutary substance: for it would not be possible for 
reason to ascertain the qualities of any substance with reference to his 
alimentary wants. — But having been once guided by instinct to his 
proper food, and having by experience found it to be good, his 
reason would then enable him to select the same food again and to take 
measures to secure a supply of it. — Man therefore, is naturally as 
entirely dependent on instinct, in the original selection of his food, aa 
any other animal; and in the pure state of his nature, as it came from 
the hands of his Maker, possesses as nicely discriminating powers of 
taste and smell as any earthly being. And nothing is more erroneous 
and absurd than the claims that are set up for the dietetic and other 
privileges of man on the score of his reason. 


to relieve itself from danger. — But by habitually debauch- 
ing the gustatory nerve and the other tissues of the 
mouth, with poisonous or improper substances, we soon 
destroy the power of the organ to discriminate between 
salutary and pernicious substances, and the power of the 
parts to give the necessary alarm and call up the necessary 
efforts of the system, to protect itself from danger; and 
in a short time, the tissues of the mouth become so 
deeply depraved, and so completely conformed to the 
qualities of these improper substances, that they learn to 
delight in their stimulation, incomparably more than in 
that of healthful and proper substances: — and thus, by 
destroying the integrity of this sentinel, we are given up 
to believe a lie. — Improper substances are received into 
the vital domain, with more or less repugnance of the 
instinctive powers at first, according to the character of 
the substances and according to the caution or excess of 
our incipient transgressions, till the depravity is extended 
from the mouth through the whole of the alimentary canal: 
and the mouth and stomach not only become reconciled 
to, but exceedingly delight in the character and influence 
of the most pernicious substances, — which either with 
hasty ravages spread ruin over our whole vital domain, 
and violently precipitate us into the grave, or slowly and 
treacherously sap the foundations of our constitution and 
fill us with disquietude and feebleness and disease, which 
terminate in untimely death:— and still we, with the 
utmost confidence in the integrity of those organs, strenu- 
ously contend for the rectitude and safety of our course, 
on the ground that it is pleasant to the taste and agreeable 
to the stomach. Indeed, these organs may become so 
thoroughly depraved, that they will reject the most salu- 
tary substances, as disgusting and pernicious; and receive 
the most pernicious substances as agreeable and salutary. 

504 graham's lectures on the 

§ 708. In a healthy and pure condition of the system, 
when the organ of taste is in a perfectly normal and un- 
depraved state, if substances designed by our Creator 
for our aliment be brought, in the best and most appro- 
priate condition, in contact with the organ, the gustatory 
qualities of the substances will afford us the highest degree 
of gustatory enjoyment, which it is possible in the nature of 
things for the same substances to yield. Thus, if aperfectly 
ripe strawberry or peach or any other kind of fruit be re- 
ceived into the mouth and masticated, our gustatory enjoy- 
ment, if our organ of taste is healthy and undepraved, will 
be as great as the qualities of the particular substance can 
make it. We cannot by any confectionery process, make 
the qualities of the ripe strawberry more delicious. We 
may, it is true, by such processes, combine other quali- 
ties with those of the strawberry, and make a compound 
dish which will be more agreeable to some; but in such 
a case the increased enjoyment will be derived not from 
an actual improvement of the qualities of the strawberry 
itself, but from the addition of other qualities. So 
that, it still remains true, that there is between our organ 
of taste and every substance which may properly be 
received into our stomach, such fixed and precise con- 
stitutional laws of relation, that each particular substance 
has a specific savor, which, when the substance is received 
into the mouth in that condition which is best adapted to 
our organization and vital wants, and properly masticated, 
will impart to us the highest degree of gustatory enjoy- 
ment that it can be made to afford. — And as it is the 
instinctive office of the organ of taste as the sentinel of 
the stomach, to perceive and appreciate these specific gus- 
tatory properties of alimentary substances, with the nicest 
accuracy of discrimination, in order to secure the strictest 
fulfilment of the laws of relation between the constitu- 


tional nature of our blood and other bodily substances, 
and the constitutional nature of our food, (§C94.) we 
have, in a pure state of the system and undepraved state 
of the organ of taste, a delicate and highly gia teful 
variety of gustatory enjoyment, equal to the natural 
variety of substances which a benevolent God has boun- 
tifully prepared for our nourishment. So that, the 
more simple our diet and the more conformable it'is to 
the constitutional laws of our nature, the more we not 
only promote health and healthful enjoyment generally, 
but also, gustatory enjoyment of the purest and the highest 
kind; for then we find in every proper article of food, a 
new and delicate savor, and often an exquisite relish" 
and even pure soft water, which most men consider taste- 
less, and many think insipid, has a deliciousness to such 
a pure organ of taste, wholly unknown and inconceivable 
to those whose gustatory pow 7 ers have become depraved 
by artificial habits. 

§ 709. Thus our benevolent Creator, in subjecting us 
to the necessity of constantly nourishing our bodies with 
foreign substances, has constitutionally connected that 
necessity with animal as well as moral powers of enjoy- 
ment, and bountifully supplied a rich variety of means for 
the appropriate exercise of those powers. But insepa- 
rable from these constitutional capabilities for good and 
happiness, are equal capabilities for evil and misery: for 
these very powers of enjoyment, which, while preserved 
in their purity and integrity, and exercised in conformity 
to the constitutional laws of our nature, always promote 
the highest and best condition of that nature, yet when 
they become depraved and their integrity is destroyed, 
and they are habitually exercised in the violation of the 
constitutional laws of our nature, become the minis- 
ters of disease to our whole nature and of untimely death 

506 graham's lectures on the 

to our bodies. — And hence the common maxim, that 
what is agreeable to the palate and sets well upon the 
stomach, is nourishing to the body and conducive to 
health, is strictly true, while the purity and the perfect 
integrity of our organs are preserved, but fatally fallacious 
when our organs are depraved, as is universally the case 
in civic life, and almost universally the case throughout 
the human world. 

§ 710. With the organ of taste, as with that of smell, 
many qualities which are grateful and salutary when 
received in that condition in which God in nature has 
prepared them for us, become depraving to the gustatory 
power and oppressive and injurious to the system when 
too much concentrated by artificial means. Thus the 
acid and the sweet properties of nutritious fruits and 
vegetables, are exceedingly grateful and salutary as they 
are naturally found in those fruits and vegetables; but 
when freely and habitually used in concentrated forms, 
they impair the power of the organ of taste to perceive and 
appreciate other gustatory properties and to discriminate 
between the salutary and the pernicious, and become 
the causes of oppression and disorder to the digestive 
organs and of disease to the whole system. 

§711. It may therefore, be laid down as a general 
law, that precisely in proportion as we become accus- 
tomed to the use of any one substance which has a strongly 
depraving gustatory property, the power of our organ of 
taste to perceive and appreciate other gustatory properties, 
and discriminate between the salutary and the pernicious, 
is impaired, and our gustatory perception and satisfac- 
tion become limited to that one depraving quality. Thus 
the habitual tobacco-eater and spirit-drinker always ex- 
ceedingly impair their gustatory powers, so that, their 
gustatory perception and satisfaction become almost en- 


tirely confined to their tobacco and spirits: and fre- 
quently those who habitually indulge in these vile poisons 
to great excess, entirely destroy their powers of taste, and 
are only able to appreciate the degree of stimulation 
produced by their favorite substances. Such individu- 
als eat to sustain their bodies or to answer the demands 
of their stomachs; but they have no more gustatory en- 
joyment in eating than they would have if their mouths 
and throats were lined with copper. — All high seasoning 
upon food produces a similar effect, though seldom to an 
equal extent: — and indeed, all artificial stimuli and most 
artificial preparations of food, in their different measures, 
produce similar effects on the organ of taste, and thus 
impair its power and destroy its integrity as an instinc- 
tive sentinel of life, which God has placed at the most 
important outpost of the vital domain! 
' §712. Those, therefore, who seek for gustatory en- 
joyment in the artificial preparations of culinary skill, 
defeat their own object; for they, as a general fact, 
necessarily diminish their gustatory enjoyment by such 
means, and circumscribe it to narrower and narrower 
limits, in proportion as they depart from that simplicity 
which is required by the constitutional laws of their na- 
ture. Nor is this important doctrine any the less true 

because they who are deeply sunken in gustatory deprav- 
ity, cannot be convinced of its truth while they remain 
in their depravity.— The following statement of a real 
case, which took place at one of the principal hotels in 
the city of New York, during the summer of 1831, is 
a good illustration of the principle I have just advanced. 
The dinner-hour arrived, and the table, fitted for more 
than a hundred persons, was richly furnished, with i every 
variety that the markets could afford, prepared and serv- 
ed up with the utmost exercise of culinary skill. Ine 

508 graham's lectures on the 

bell was rung, and the table was soon surrounded by those 
for whom it had been prepared. — Some, of simpler hab- 
its and less depraved palates than the rest, selected the 
plainest and simplest articles of food before them, and 
made their repast with much gustatory enjoyment. — 
Others, of a more omnivorous character and miscellane- 
ous appetites, partook freely of almost every dish within 
their reach, and ordered supplies from many that were 
not within their reach. These, without any distinct 
gustatory perception of the specific properties of the 
different substances which they devoured, yielded to the 
morbid cravings of their stomachs and eagarly gorged 
themselves, with a kind of indistinct and promiscuous 
satisfaction. — But there was one gentleman at the table 
of no plebeian palate. His gustatory faculty had been 
educated to the very top of its capabilities. He was, 
in the modern sense of the term, an epicure of the high- 
est order. He lived for the enjoyments of the palate, 
and had systematized eating and drinking into the most 
refined art. — He took his station at the head of the table. 
Before him smoked a well cooked sirloin of roasted 
beef. He carved it in the most skilful manner, and after 
having served others, he helped himself to a delicate 
bit, and sat down and dressed it with a variety of season- 
ings, and then tasted of it — but it afforded him no relish. 
— He called a waiter, and ordered his plate to be chang- 
ed, and a dish of calf's head and feet to be brought to 
him, from another part of the table. A portion of this 
dish was taken upon his plate and nicely seasoned and 
tasted. This he found not to be properly cooked; — 
and the waiter was again ordered to change his plate and 
bring him a dish of fowls: — these had been mangled in 
carving, and were ordered back untouched. — The raw 
gizzards of the fowls were then ordered from the kitch- 


en;— these were carefully dressed by the gentleman, 
well basted with the contents of the caster, and the 
waiter received particular instructions how to have them 
broiled. This being done, and the gizzards again before 
the gentleman upon the table, they were again profusely 
basted with butter and the contents of the caster : — cay- 
enne pepper was freely showered upon them, and mus- 
tard in abundance. The gentleman then tasted of the 
gizzards, and found them to relish so well that he con- 
cluded to make his dinner of them. — In the mean time 
however, the other gentlemen at the table had finished 
their first course, and the waiters were removing their 
plates. Our epicure, unluckily, at this moment laid 
down his knife and fork and pushed his plate a little 
aside to take a glass of wine, to give tone to his stom- 
ach. When he had drunk his wine, he turned to com- 
mence his dinner, but his gizzards were gone! He call- 
ed aloud to the waiter, — but it was too late — the giz- 
zards, saturated and swimming as they were, in a purga- 
tory of grease and pepper and mustard and other fiery 
condiments, had been scraped with ruthless hand, into 
the common mass of the ruins of the table! — and the 
the unfortunate epicure was compelled to make out his 
dinner the best way he could. — Now, what could have 
been the gustatory enjoyment of such a man, who 
could find nothing upon that sumptuously furnished 
table from which his depraved palate could derive enjoy- 
ment, and who could only find satisfaction in such a dish 
as he prepared for his repast ? The gizzards themselves, 
in the first place, had little more gustatory virtue in them 
than a cast-off heel-tap of a worn-out shoe;— but if they 
had possessed any natural savor of a grateful kind, surely 
the dressings must have completely destroyed it, and left 
nothing for the organ of taste to appreciate but the gus- 

510 graham's lectures on the 

tatory qualities of the fiery seasonings!— A man with a 
pure system, and with an undepraved organ of taste, might 
have sat down beside him and dined upon a piece of 
good bread and a cup of cold water, with a thousand 
fold more gustatory enjoyment, than it is possible for 
such an epicure to derive from any dish which culinary 
art can produce. For the deeply depraved organ of 
taste in such an epicure has "no virtue to perceive the 
beauty of truth;" — it has no power to detect the delicate, 
intrinsic qualities of things, and therefore, whatever may 
be the article of food, the gustatory enjoyment of such a 
man, cannot depend on the natural savor of the nutritious 
substance, but either solely on the gustatory qualities of 
the fiery seasonings, or, in the total obliteration of the 
gustatory power, the seared palate is only capable of 
appreciating the degree of stimulation. — So in the reli- 
gious world. People whose sympathies exceed their 
knowledge, and who are more accustomed to be excited 
than to be instructed, soon come to mistake their mere 
excitements for the genuine influences of the spirit of 
truth; and can only appreciate the degree of stimulation, 
without any power to discriminate as to the quality of 
the stimulus: — and therefore, their hope and their confi- 
dence and their rejoicing are always equal to the degree 
of stimulation which they feel. — Such have no distinct- 
ness nor soundness nor stability in their faith, — their 
religion rises and falls with their emotions, and they are 
ever ready to be led away by whatever produces the 
most powerful stimulation. But they who receive and 
obey the truth in the love of it, have hope and confi- 
dence and rejoicing always in proportion to the distinct- 
ness of their perception of, and the fulness of their con- 
formity to the truth. 

§ 713. It is therefore, a general law that the more per- 


fectly our dietetic habits conform to our laws of constitu- 
tion and relation, the greater is our gustatory enjoyment, 
and the more certainly we secure life, health and happi- 
ness. This law is established by physiological science, 
and confirmed by the experience of thousands even at the 
present day. 

Constitutional Relations of the Teeth. 

■ § 714. The teeth, though possessed of no sensibility 
by which we detect and appreciate the qualities of our 
food, are nevertheless, exceidingly important organs of 
internal and external relation. The manner in which they 
are produced by the vital economy, has been fully de- 
scribed, (§323. — 328.) and also heir liability to disease 
and decay. (§ 519.) There aie few parts of our whole 
system, the disease of which is attended with more excru- 
ciating and intolerable pain than that of the teeth; — and 
thousands of human beings, when severely suffering the 
tooth-ache, have been heard to question the goodness and 
the benevolence of the Creator, because they have con- 
ceived that such suffering in the creature is irreconcilable 
with those attributes in an almighty and infinitely wise 
God: but such sentiments evince as much ignorance as 
impiety in the sufferer. For it only requires a correct 
knowledge of the constitutional nature and relations of 
the teeth, to convince every rational creature, that even 
the excruciating pain itself, which attends the disease of 
our teeth, is a most conclusive demonstration of the benev- 
olence and goodness of our Creator.— God gave us our 
teeth for good and only for good:— and so far as the con- 
stitutionaflaws which he has established in our nature are 
obeyed, we are subject to no suffering from the teeth.— 
The gradual growth of our bodies from our infantile forms 

512 graham's lectures on the 

to sturdy manhood, renders it necessary that our little 
jaws should be furnished with a set of teeth in childhood, 
which are too small to rill up our jaws when our system 
is fully developad, and too small to answer the prrposes 
of mastic tion through life: and hence the wise and be- 
nevolent Creator has established a special economy in our 
system, (§ 325.) by which the first teeth, of our childhood, 
are in due time removed, and they are gradually replaced 
as our jaws become more and more developed by a set 
of permanent teeth, whi h are much larger and better fitted 
for the purposes of mastication. But in all this there is, 
in the original constitution and condition of man, no ne- 
cessity for the slightest disease or suffering. Were the 
human species uniformly and permanently to obey the 
constitutional laws of their nature, the first set of teeth 
would be produced, and, in proper time, give place to the 
second or permanent teeth, without the slightest pain or 
inconvenience in any case. But God has not placed the 
permanent teeth in our jaws to be removed, and therefore 
he has made no arrangement in the vital economy of our 
system for their removal, without pain. 

§ 715. The teeth are organs of very great importance 
to the vital interests of our bodies, and their importance 
continues while the alimentary functions of our bodies are 
requisite. Most people regard the loss of a tooth as an 
evil, mainly because of the pais which attends the loss, — 
some because of the disadvantage to their appearance, 
and some because of the inconvenience in speaking; but 
few, if any, regard it as an evil because of the importance 
of the tooth to the vital interests of the body. But God, 
who, in infinite wisdom and benevolence, has constructed 
the whole organic machinery of our bodies, and who per- 
fectly understands the importance of each particular part 
of that machinery to the general interests of the whole, 


as a single system, knows that a single permanent tooth 
cannot be lost without crippling in some degree the pow- 
ers ot the vital constitution, and in some measure abridg- 
ing the period of our bodily existence: and therefore, he 
has constructed our permanent teeth of such materials 
and in such a manner, and planted them so firmly in our 
jaws, that they are capable of remaining perfectly sound 
and healthy, and of performing their proper functions with 
utmost integrity, from the period at which they are pro- 
duced, till our vital constitution is worn out, and we die 
a natural death, at a hundred, or two hundred or five 
hundred or a thousand years of age: — and because it is of 
very great importance to the vital interests of our bodies, 
that the permanent teeth should thus remain in our jaws 
during our whole life, God has, in wisdom and benevo- 
lence, so fixed them there, that they cannot be removed 
by disease nor torn out by violence without the most ex- 
cruciating and dreadful pain. 

§ 716. The teeth are constituted with fixed and pre- 
cise relations to the blood (§ 142.) and all the particular 
substances of the body; (§ 695.) to the nerves, to the 
gums, to the organ of taste, to the salivary glands, to 
the stomach and intestinal tube, and to the whole vital 
constitution and economy: — and they are constituted with 
fixed and precise relations, to the nature, qualities and 
condition of those substances which God has designed 
for human aliment: — and if their laws of constitution and 
relation be strictly obeyed and never violated, the teeth will 
never decay nor become diseased nor painful in the human 
head. In this statement however, I do not mean to 
affirm that, the present generation of mankind, with all the 
disadvantages of their own and their parents' transgressions, 
could, by the strictest conformity to the lawsof their nature, 
wholly redeem themselves from their physical depravities 

514 graham's lectures on the 

and predispositions, and preserve their teeth free from 
disease and pain as long as they live. The teeth are 
among the last organs which manifest either the deterio- 
rations, or the meliorations of the vital constitution: — 
hence some people, with excellent teeth, may habitually 
violate the constitutional laws of their nature in such a 
manner as is calculated to destroy their teeth, and yet die 
at what we call an advanced age, with sound teeth in their 
jaws: — but their iniquities will surely be visited upon their 
children and grandchildren; — so that, if the same habits 
be continued, the third or fourth generation, at farthest, 
will be afflicted with miserable teeth. And on the other 
hand, people with teeth strongly predisposed to decay, 
may most rigidly observe the constitutional laws of their 
nature, without being able wholly to preserve their own 
teeth from disease and pain ; yet they will preserve their 
own teeth a very great deal longer than they would other- 
wise last, and they will suffer comparatively little pain 
from their decay; and if these habits are persevered in 
by their posterity, the third or fourth generation, at far- 
thest, will have excellent teeth; — and thenceforward to 
the end of the world, if the laws of constitution and rela- 
tion are strictly obeyed and never violated by the race, 
their teeth will never decay nor become painful. It is 
therefore entirely from the voluntary transgressions of 
mankind, and not from the want of benevolence in our 
Creator, that we suffer tooth-ache. 

§ 717. But it is asserted that, God could either have 
made the teeth in such a manner that they could not de- 
cay, or that their decay would not be attended with pain. 
I reply that, if this be true, a d if God had so made them, 
he would have disregarded the est interests of the human 
system, and neglected to establish one of the most pow- 
erful barrriers to those voluntary transgressions which 


destroy the body. For such is the constitutional nature 
of the blood (§ 142.) and all the other substances of the 
living body, and such are their constitutional relations, 
and the relations of all the alimentary organs, to these 
foreign substances which God designed for our nourish- 
ment, (§698.) that these laws of relation cannot be vio- 
lated without injury to the vital interest of the body, and 
they cannot be habitually transgressed without causing 
bodily disease and suffering and death. And such is 
now the constitutional nature of the teeth, (§716.) and 
their constitutional relations to the blood, and all the oth- 
er substances of the body, and all the alimentary organs, 
and to those foreign substances intended for our nourish- 
ment, that the constitutional relations of the blood and 
other substances of the body and of all the alimentary or- 
gans to those foreign substances, and the constitutional 
relations of the teeth to those foreign substances, perfect- 
ly harmonize, so that, a perfect fulfilment of the constitu- 
tional laws of relation in regard to the teeth, is precisely 
what the best interests of the whole organization and vital 
economy of the human body require. Precisely that 
kind, quality and condition of alimentary substances, which 
the best interests of the teeth require, are also, in the 
highest degree, conducive to the best interests of the 
whole vital domain: and on the other hand, every infrac- 
tion of the constitutional laws of relation in regard to 
the teeth, is necessarily, in some measure, an infringement 
on the particular and general interest of the body. 

§71S. In pure benevolence therefore, God has so 
constituted our teeth, that the transgression of their laws 
of constitution and relation shall cause them to become 
diseased and painful, for the sole purpose that the pain 
shall induce us to refrain from those transgressions, which 
not only cause the disease and destruction of the teeth, 

516 graham's lectures on the 

but also lead to the disease and destruction of the whcje 
body. And thus hath God in goodness ordained the 
ooth-ache as a means of restraining us from destri 
ing ourselves, and of preserving the highest and hest 
condition of our whole nature, — just as he hath ordained 
that the pain which we suffer when we burn cur flesh 
shall restrain us from running into the fire: and on the 
same principle of benevolence hath he ordained al] the 
pain that human nature suffers, that we may be kept 
from transgression and be partakers of his holiness and 
happiness: — and the excruciating pain which attends the 
disease of our teeth, and the dreadful violence attending 
the extraction of them, show the importance of our 
teeth to the vital interests of our bodies, and of our duty 
to preserve them. 

§719. Our teeth were formed to cut and grind our 
food preparatory to swallowing and digestion; (§ 228.) 
and every artificial substitute for their legitimate use, is 
more or less an infraction of their laws of constitu- 
tion and relation, and necessarily results in commensurate 
injury to themselves and to the whole system. But when 
the function of the teeth is correctly and fully performed, 
on precisely the right substances 'in precisely the right 
condition, the laws of constitution and relation are ohc\ ed 
and the most healthful condition of the teeth is preserved. 
Almost all artificial preparations of food therefore, and 
especially those connected with the use of fire, are 
necessarily more or less injurious to the teeth, and cause 
them to become diseased and painful. 

§720. The lower orders of animals in a pure state of 
nature, whose food is never subjected to artificial pre- 
parations, never have accumulations of tartar upon the 
teeth, nor are their teeth in any way diseased. But the 
horse, cow, dog and other domesticated animals, which 



are fed on artificially prepared food, often suffer from 
calcareous incrustations and decay of teeth; and this 
is particularly the case with such as are fed on warm and 
soft food. — Mr. John Burdell, surgeon dentist, of New 

Fig. 53. 

The teeth of a cow fed on grass and hay. 
Fig. 54. 

The teeth of a cow of about the same age, fed on still-slops: — 
The teeth ot^a^ ^ ^^^ ^ ^ bone dlseased . 

York, who has given much attention to this subject, 

assur s me, he has always found that the teeth of cows 

ed on warm « still-slops » are very much mcrusted with 

[l° r l_ a nd in many instances the enamel » entirety *, 


518 graham's lectures on the 

stroyed. (Figs. 53. 54.) This same gentleman informs me 
that a milk-man who keeps a large number of cows, told 
him that he once undertook to feed his cows entirely on 
warm still-slops, and at first, thought it an excellent man- 
ner of keeping them; but he found, in the course of three 
or four years, that they were all losing their teeth, and 
becoming unable to eat hay, and he was obliged to fatten 
them as well as he could on the dregs of the still and 
kill them off. — Since then, he has kept his cows entirely 
on grass and hay, and has had no further trouble with 
their teeth. 

§ 721. A very intelligent sea-captain who has visited 
most parts of our globe, informs me that, he has observed 
with surprise, the different conditions of the teeth of the 
different nations and tribes which he has visited: — and 
that he has always found that, where the people use 
much hot drink and hot food, and smoke tobacco or 
other narcotic substances, their teeth are black and much 
decayed; and that in the islands of the Pacific and other 
parts, where the people seldom or never take any thing 
hot into their mouths, use little or no animal food, and 
are very simple, plain and natural in their diet, he found 
that their teeth were very regular, white, clean and free 
from decay. " The contrast," says he, " between the 
black, decayed teeth of the inhabitants on the western 
coast of South America, and the white, clean, healthy 
teeth of the inhabitants of some of the islands in the 
Pacific of nearly the same latitude, was so great and so 
striking as to excite my astonishment." 

§ 722. A medical gentleman who formerly spent fif- 
teen years in one of the remote counties of the State of 
Maine, where the principal business carried on, was that 
of getting out lumber; and where the inhabitants, with 
active, industrious habits, knew nothing of luxury, but 


subsisted on a plain, simple and coarse diet, stated that, 
the people were very remarkable for their fine, white and 
regular teeth, which were wholly free from decay; and 
that, although he was the only physician in the whole 
county, he had occasion to extract but one tooth in the 
whole fifteen years; and he finally left the parts because 
he could find no professional business to attend to. — 
The same freedom from decay of the teeth is found 
in all portions of the human family, in the same simple 
and temperate circumstances and habits. The peas- 
antry of Ireland, and other parts of Europe generally, 
who are free from the use of intoxicating substances, 
and whose dietetic habits are simple and plain, are 
remarkable for their fine, healthy and regular teeth. But 
facts need not be multiplied. Nothing can be more 
certain than that most artificial processes of preparing food 
are injurious to the teeth. (§719.) Indeed, so far as 
these organs are considered, it is unquestionably true, 
that, a perfectly natural state of our food, would be 
incomparably better than the present artificial prepara- 

§ 723. Culinary preparations, as a general fact, lead 
us to masticate our food too little, to swallow it too fast 
(§426.) and to eat too much: and these are all very 
serious evils in relation to the teeth, to the stomach and 
the whole alimentary apparatus, and indeed, to the whole 
vital economy. By eating our food in a natural state, 
or with that artificial preparation which still requires the 
full performance of the function of the teeth, we avoid 
all these evils and preserve the teeth in health. — The 
healthful effect on the teeth, of a regular and full per- 
formance of their natural function, is very much greater 
than is generally supposed. Let any one of ordinary 
habits of living, who has a full set of sound teeth, accus- 

520 graham's lectures on the 

torn himself to masticate his food freely on one side of 
his mouth, and make no use of the teeth on the other 
side; and in a few years, the teeth which he does not use, 
will become exceedingly tender and begin to decay, and 
he will probably lose the whole of them, while the teeth 
on the other side remain sound: — and let any one who 
has very tender teeth, accustom himself by degrees to eat 
crusts of bread, pilot-bread, &c, and he will soon find 
himself able to eat those hard substances with great ease 
and pleasure, and the health of his teeth will become 
exceedingly improved. And as a general rule, it will 
always be found true that, in families where there are 
several children of the same parents, and where some of 
those children prefer the crusts of the bread set before 
them, and others the soft part, the former will have much 
sounder and better teeth than the latter, and will preserve 
them free from decay much longer in life. 

§ 724. Physiologists and dentists have differed much 
in regard to the nature and causes of the diseases of the 
teeth; yet there does not appear to be any real grounds 
for a difference of opinion on the subject. — The 
teeth are organic portions of the animal body. The 
enamel is a species of organic crystalization, (§ 327.) 
destitute of nerves and vessels, and therefore wholly inca- 
pable of both healthy and morbid sensibility; and yet, in 
the living head, its sound condition is very closely con- 
nected with the healthy condition of the bony substance 
which it surrounds. (§423.) The bony portion of the teeth 
is supplied with both vessels and nerves, and is at least 
capable of a high degree of morbid sensibility; and the 
very fact that the disease of the teeth is attended with 
pain, is a full and conclusive demonstration that the disease 
is purely organic, and as such, always originates in the 
bony portion of the teeth, by a species of inflammation. 


In very many instances, it is true, the disease commences 
on the outer surface of the bone, contiguous to the enamel, 
and perhaps most frequently b such instances, the disease 
is caused by the fracture or destruction or injury of the 
enamel. But, strictly speaking, the enamel itself is inca- 
pable of disease. It is injured or destroyed by chemical 
and by mechanical causes, and is broken off in fragments, 
or slowly disintegrated; but this cannot properly be 
called disease. Whether caused by the injuries or de- 
struction of the enamel from without, or by disorders from 
within, then, the disease of the teeth has its seat wholly 
in the bony substance and is purely organic. — Among 
the external causes acting directly on the teeth, heat is 
certainly the most powerful. It is common to hear peo- 
ple speak of sugar, calomel, and other substances as very 
injurious to the teeth, from their external action: but if 
these substances were only permitted to come in contact 
with the external surface of the teeth, and were never 
swallowed into the stomach, the teeth would suffer very 
little from them. — The most extensive and pernicious 
causes of disease to the teeth, are those which act on 
them through the general organic economy of the sys- 
tem. Whatever produces a general disturbance of 
function, and causes a general morbid irritability of the 
nervous system, assails the teeth in common with all the 
other organs; but they will react against such causes with 
more or less vigor, according as the performance of their 
function and other circumstances are more or less favor- 
able to their health. — If the food is soft and hot, or con- 
centrated or high-seasoned, or otherwise vicious, and 
mastication is neglected, incrustations of tartar will 
gather around the neck of the teeth, and irritate the 
gums, and separate them from the enamel, and irritate 
the membrane which surrounds the roots; (§323.) and 

522 graham's lectures on the 

tins irritation will soon be extended to the membrane 
which lines the inner cavity of the roots and body of 
the teeth, (§327.) the teeth will become very tender, 
and soon begin to be inflamed and painful; and decay 
will follow, and the teeth must be lost, unless the pro- 
gress of the disease is arrested by correct habits, aided 
by the art of the skilful dentist; which should never be 

§ 725. The teeth therefore, do not suffer alone by 
the violation of their laws of constitution and relation. 
The gums and salivary glands, as well as the mucous 
membrane of the mouth, the organ of taste and the ali- 
mentary canal, are necessarily involved in the injury, and 
react upon the teeth and upon each other. The gums 
become tender and irritable, separate from the neck of 
the teeth, and often become flaccid and exceedingly 
ulcerous. — All this hastens the destruction of the teeth. 

§726. The importance of the proper quantity and 
quality of saliva, in order to the healthy condition and 
functions of the organs of the mouth and the stomach, 
has been greatly overlooked. We have seen (§ 426.) 
that, when the food is properly and thoroughly masticated 
and freely mixed with saliva, it is not only completely 
comminuted in the mouth, but it also undergoes some- 
thing of a change, approaching towards the character of 
chyme: and hence the more completely and perfectly 
the functions of the mouth are performed, the more per- 
fectly is the food fitted for the function of the stomach. — 
Not only the quantity but the quality of the saliva may 
be exceedingly varied by the different conditions of the 
salivary glands; and these conditions depend very much 
on the kind and degree of stimulation which induces their 
secretion: and hence different kinds and conditions of 
substances received into the mouth, affect those glands 


differently, and cause correspondent variations in the 
character of the saliva. — The imperfect mastication and 
insahvation of the food, hecomes a source of irritation 
to the stomach; and all irritations of the stomach, from 
whatever cause, react upon the salivary glands, greatly 
affecting their condition and the character of their secre- 
tion; and thus an unhealthy quality of saliva and other 
oral secretions is produced, from which the calcareous 
incrustation which gathers around the teeth is formed, 
and thereby the gums and teeth are irritated and diseased. 
In this manner the saliva is sometimes rendered so vicious 
that it becomes exceedingly acrid, — scalding and blister- 
ing the parts over which it flows , and greatly disturbing 
the function of the stomach. 

§727. When therefore, the laws of constitution and 
relation, in regard to the teeth, are precisely fulfilled, in 
kind, quality and condition of the food, and when the 
teeth most perfectly perform their function, the laws 
of relation in regard to the gums and salivary glands are 
obeyed, and the best quality and quantity of saliva is 
secreted for the use of the system;— and when the laws 
of constitution and relation in regard to the organs of the 
mouth are fulfilled, then is the masticated food precisely 
of the nature and condition best adapted to the constitu- 
tion and functional powers of the stomach;— for there 
are, as I have stated, (§716.) the most fixed and precise 
constitutional laws of relation between the teeth and the 
alimentary canal :— so that precisely that kind, quality 
and condition of food which is best adapted to the con- 
stitutional nature and relations of the teeth, is also best 
adapted to the constitution and functional powers of the 
alimentary canal :-and precisely that degree of mastica- 
tion of the food which the highest welfare of the teeth 
requires, is indispensably necessary to the best condition 

524 graham's lectures on the 

and functional conduct of the stomach and bowels. — If the 
food is imperfectly masticated and too rapidly swallowed 
into the stomach, it becomes a serious cause of irritation 
to this organ, and always tends to produce functional 
derangement not only of the stomach itself, but, by the 
sympathetic influences of the stomach, of all the other 
organs of the system: (§297.) — and when by such, or 
other means, the functional vigor and integrity of the 
stomach becomes impaired, the imperfectly masticated 
food — after remaining in the gastric cavity for some hours, 
a cause of irritation and disturbance, is frequently rejected 
by eructations, or permitted to pass in a crude state into 
the intestinal tube, where it becomes a cause of serious 
and sometimes fatal disturbance, producing flatulence, 
colic, spasms, convulsions and even death. (§436.) — It 
is therefore, of the utmost importance, not only to the 
teeth, but to the whole apparatus of alimentary organs, 
and to the whole vital economy, that the food should be 
fully masticated, and slowly swallowed into the stomach: 
and in order to do this, it is of the utmost importance that, 
as a general fact, the food should be of a kind, quality and 
condition requiring and compelling thorough mastication 
and slow deglutition. 

§ 728. Every thing unfriendly to the sound constitution 
and permanent health of the teeth, is far more efficacious 
in its pernicious effects on those organs in childhood, 
than in later periods of life. (§ 327.) Indeed, there is 
no other period in which the teeth are so deeply and 
permanently injured as they are previous to their appear- 
ance above the gums. It will be remembered that, 
during the development of the temporary or infant teeth, 
(§ 323. 324.) the germs of the permanent teeth are 
formed, and deposited in appropriate cells in the spongy 
substance of the jaw-bone, (§325.) where they remain 


till the general wants of the organic economy require that 
the permanent teeth should take the place of the tempo- 
rary ones. During this whole period of six or seven 
years or more, these germs participate in all the general 
affections of the system; and always more or less partake 
of the morbid irritations and irritability of the nerves of 
organic life. (§ 225.) From the time these germs begin 
to be developed till the teeth are completely formed, or 
during the process of second dentition, every disturbing 
cause in the organic domain, strikes at the very constitu- 
tion of the teeth and does them an irreparable injury, 
preparing them for early disease and decay. 

§ 729. Calomel and other kinds of mineral medicine, 
and in fact all medicine which has a general effect on the 
system, is peculiarly injurious and often destructive to 
the permanent teeth, when taken before those organs are 
completely formed. Every thing in the dietetic and 
other habits also, during this period, which is exciting and 
stimulating to the system, producing feverishness or in- 
tensity of action, and which is calculated to hasten on 
the process of second dentition, necessarily has an 
unhealthy effect on the organic constitution of the teeth, 
and renders them more susceptible to the action of those 
causes by which they are diseased and destroyed. And 
even after the permanent teeth are completely developed, 
their vessels and nerves being considerably larger and 
pervading the bony substance more extensively and 
abundantly in youth than in later life, (§ 327.) they are 
much more liable to deep organic injury and painful and 
destructive disease from the internal action of disturbing 
causes, than they are in later periods. And hence, it is 
of the utmost importance to the permanent welfare of the 
teeth as well as of the whole system, that the diet of 
children should be plain, simple and unexciting; and 

526 graham's lectures on the 

that every proper measure should be taken to preserve 
the general health of the system. 

Constitutional Relations of the Skin and Lungs. 

§ 730. The primary organs of external relation, I have 
said, (§ 698.) are the alimentary canal, the lungs and the 
skin. In some animals the skin is supposed to be a prin- 
cipal organ of respiration; and it has also been supposed 
to be, to some extent, an organ of alimentation. In man, 
its powers of absorption, as an organ of alimentation, are 
exceedingly small, if indeed, it can justly be said to pos- 
sess any. (§ 331 .) As an organ of respiration, the human 
skin is of much more importance. In a healthy and vig- 
orous state, and when not too much confined by clothing, 
its action on the atmosphere is very similar to that of 
the lungs, (§ 516.) and hence there are the same or simi- 
lar constitutional and functional laws of relation between 
the skin and the surrounding atmosphere, that there are 
between the lungs and atmosphere: and these I shall 
explain when I come to speak of the lungs. As an ex- 
tended organ of touch, the skin has constitutional relations 
to external things, the general principles of which have 
already been sufficiently explained in speaking of the 
other organs of sense. (§ 253.) 

§ 731. The lungs are constituted with fixed and pre- 
cise laws of relation to the external air. Pure air, I have 
said, (§473.) when at the very point of truth in its con- 
stitutional nature, consists of twenty parts in a hundred, 
by measure or volume, of pure oxygen gas, and eighty 
parts of nitrogen or azote. These are not chemically 
combined, (§ 474.) as oxygen and hydrogen are in water, 
but they are thoroughly mixed together, in the proportion 
of one fifth part of oxygen with four fifths of azote; and 


they are held together, if the views of modern chemists 
are correct, by affinities peculiar to the atmospheric con- 
stitution; for although a given volume of oxygen is heavi- 
er than the same volume of azote, and therefore, reason- 
ing a priori, we should conclude that oxygen would be 
much more abundant in the lower regions of the atmos- 
phere, and that azote would be much more abundant in the 
higher regions; but the air brought from the highest point 
of elevation to which any human being has yet ascended, 
is found, on analysis, to consist of precisely the same 
qualities and proportions that the air does which is taken 
from the lowest valley. The only explanation which the 
present state of science can afford for this interesting fact, 
is that, oxygen, which in its pure state is a little heavier 
than the common atmosphere, and azote, which in its pure 
state is a little lighter or less dense than the common 
atmosphere, are thoroughly mixed together in the pro- 
portions I have named, and constitute pure atmospheric 
air, not only in the lowest valleys, but on the tops 
of the highest mountains, and at all known altitudes; 
and these substances are held together in those pro- 
portions, by laws of constitution peculiar to the atmos- 
pheric air. So that, if a large quantity of oxygen and 
azote were set free, they would at once mix together, 
according to the constitutional laws of atmospheric air, 
in the proportion of one volume of oxygen with four of 
azote, and if there was an excess of oxygen it would sink 
towards the earth and remain in its free state until it 
found something to combine with; and on the other hand, 
if there was an excess of azote it would ascend up. This 
then is the constitutional nature which God has given to 
the a'tmospheric air; and he has given to each and every 
individual vegetable and animal in the whole organic 
world a constitutional nature holding a fixed and precise 

528 graham's lectures on the 

relation to the constitutional nature of pure air. The 
small quantity of carbonic acid gas and the vapor which 
are always found in the atmosphere, (§ 473.) need not 
now to be taken into account. 

§ 732. The human body, like other animal bodies, 
derives what may properly be called a portion of its 
nourishment, from the atmosphere; (§480.) and this 
nourishment is not only essential to our existence, but 
we cannot live many minutes without a supply of it, — As 
a general statement, the oxygen alone is the nutritious 
principle of the air which we breathe, (§ 482.) and the 
azote is wholly innutritious. — Pure air then, contains 
only one part of nourishment for our bodies, mixed with 
four parts of innutritious substanee; and the lungs are 
obliged to receive this air with its large proportion of 
innutritious substance, for the sake of receiving its small 
proportion of nutritious substance, which they separate 
out and appropriate to the nourishment of the system by 
a vital process which may be called pulmonary digestion.. 

§ 733. Now it may be asked, Why would it not be 
an excellent plan to establish all over the face of the earth, 
a vast multitude of large chemical laboratories, for the 
purpose of analyzing the atmosphere, and procuring as 
much pure oxygen gas as mankind would require for their 
nourishment; and thus save the human lungs from the 
very laborious and wearing task of separating the nutri- 
tious principle of the atmosphere from such a large 
quantity of innutritious matter, and especially in all cases 
of weak and delicate lungs. — Considering the rage 
of mankind for concentrated and stimulating sub- 
stances, it is indeed a marvel, that an enterprise of this 
kind has not been undertaken: and no doubt it would 
have been long since, if men could have felt their way 


into such a mode of pulmonary stimulation. — But such 
an artificial preparation of air for the human lungs, would 
be ruinous to the lungs and destructive to the whole 
body: because God has organized man and established 
the laws of vital power and action within him, with the 
most fixed and precise relations to the constitutional 
nature of atmospheric air as it is in a natural and pure 
state. — He has formed the lungs to receive and digest 
air that is composed of four parts of innutritious matter 
and one of nutritious, and therefore every deviation either 
way from this point of constitutional truth, in the char- 
acter of the air, must necessarily be injurious to the 
lungs, and through them to the whole system. — If we 
were to breathe pure oxygen gas or air, there would be 
a greatly increased action in the whole system and all the 
vital phenomena would be exceedingly enhanced; the lungs 
and other organs would become inflamed, and the vital 
powers would soon be completely exhausted and the 
vital constitution destroyed. On the other hand, if we 
were to breathe pure azote we should instantly suffocate, 
because it is wholly innutritious of itself, and therefore 
cannot alone, support respiration. (§ 475.) Just in 
proportion as the air we breathe, deviates from the con- 
stitutional truth of pure atmospheric air to an excess of 
oxygen, the vital action and exhaustion of our system 
are increased,— the functional power of the lungs is 
diminished,— the general principles of disease are devel- 
oped, and life is abbreviated. And just in proportion as 
the air we breathe deviates in the other direction to an 
excess of azote, the function of respiration becomes 
depressed, laborious and imperfect,— the blood and all 
the other substances of the body, suffer a commensurate 
deterioration, (§ 484.)— all the functions in the system 
languish —the lungs and other organs lose their most 

530 graham's lectures on the 

healthy tone and elasticity, and the whole system tends to 
disease and decay. — When these deviations in either 
direction, are exceedingly small at first, and gradually 
increased, we may not be sensible from immediate and 
distinctly marked manifestations, that the air which we 
breathe is not best adapted to our lungs; — nay indeed, 
we may so far deprave our lungs that they will prefer the 
presence of air which is loaded with the poisonous odor 
of tobacco,, to the presence of pure air. (§ 287. 290. 
296. 700.) Nevertheless it is most strictly true, that all 
deviations, to an excess either of oxygen or of azote, in 
the air we breathe, are commensurately injurious to the 
lungs, and to the whole system. We are therefore, so 
organized in relation to the constitutional nature of pure 
air, that the innutritions property of the air is, in its true 
constitutional proportion, just as important to the per- 
manent welfare of our lungs and our whole system, as 
the nutritious property is. — I have entered thus fully into 
the explanation of the constitutional laws of relation be- 
tween the lungs and the atmospheric air, mainly because 
there is, in this respect, the most perfect analogy between 
the lungs and the alimentary canal. 

Constitutional Relations of the Alimentary Canal. 

§ 734. The human stomach with the intestinal tube, 
I have said, (§ 697.) is constituted with the most fixed 
and precise relations, not only to the blood and all the 
other substances of the body, and all the other organs of 
the system, but also to those foreign or external substances 
designed by our Creator for our aliment. (§ 698.) The 
direct and important relations between the stomach and 
the teeth, we have already contemplated, (§725.) and 
seen that, precisely that kind, quality and condition of 


food, which are best for the teeth, are best for the stom- 
ach, after having been subjected to the function of the 
teeth; and that, the more perfectly the function of the 
teeth is performed, the better the masticated food is pre- 
pared tor the function of the stomach. (§727.) The 
stomach, it will be remembered, besides the mucous 
membrane which lines it on the inside (§ 338.) and the 
peritoneal coat which envelops it on the outside, (§ 350.) 
has a muscular coat, (§ 347.) of which one set of fibres 
run lengthwise of the organ, and another set run around 
it, at right angles with the first, or nearly so; and a third 
set of oblique or spiral fibres, continuing from the oeso- 
phagus and being distributed mostly to the large end of 
the organ. Simply as a digestive organ, the stomach, 
it will be remembered, is supplied from the domain of 
organic life (§ 231 .) with three sets of nerves. (§ 230.) — 
First, those which belong to its blood-vessels concerned 
in nourishing its tissues, and those which belong to its 
secreting and absorbing vessels. Second, the nerves 
which convey the stimulus of motion from the centre of 
perception and action to the muscular tissue of the organ; 
and third, the nerves of organic sensibility by which the 
stomach is sensible of the presence and properties of 
the substance received into it. (§429.) 

§ 735. Our infinitely wise and good Creator, I affirm, 
has organized man to subsist on certain substances, which 
He had previously created with i\\ed constitutional 
natures and properties; and therefore, there is a perfect 
constitutional adaptation of our organs to those substances 
and of those substances to our organs. (§ G9S.) And 
as God created man to be the lord of the earth, and to 
occupy all portions of it, he constituted him with a 
wide range of adaptability, to meet the exigencies of the 
circumstances and conditions in which he might be 

532 graham's lectures on the 

placed: — but always of necessity, under this great and 
immutable law — that in proportion as man turns 


§736. In its constitutional nature, every substance 
has properties adapted to the end or ends for which it 
was created; and this is strictly true of all substances 
designed for human aliment; (§700.) and therefore, the 
human organs have capacities and powers perfectly 
adapted to these properties. (§ 294. — 296. Hence we 
have organs with the special sense of sight, adapted to 
the visual properties of things, — organs with the special 
sense of hearing, adapted to the auditory properties of 
things, — an organ with the special sense of smell, adapt- 
ed to the olfactory properties of things, or to odors, — 
an organ with the special sense of taste, adapted to the 
gustatory property of things, (§ 566.) and the sense of 
touch, adapted to the tangible properties of things: 
(§ 242.) and each of these properties, is the natural and 
appropriate stimulus of the special sense adapted to it. 
These organs which I have now enumerated, all pertain 
to animal life, and are endowed with animal sensibilities; 
(§292.) but the organs belonging to the domain of 
organic life, are endowed with organic sensibilities, 
equally determinate and equally specific, in relation to 
the properties of things, designed to be their natural and 
appropriate stimuli. (§296.) — And hence, the nerves 
of organic sensibility belonging to the human stomach, 


(§ 734.) in a perfectly normal and undepraved state, are 
endowed with a special organic sense, by which they, 
with the most perfect accuracy and exquisite delicacy, 
perceive and appreciate the specific alimentary stimulus of 
every substance received into the gastric cavity, and 
instantly convey the impression which they receive, to 
the centre of perception and action (§220.) which pre- 
sides over the function of the stomach, and which imme- 
diately calls up those powers, requisite for the perform- 
ance of the function of that organ, according to the char- 
acter of the stimulus perceived. (§429.) 

§737. While the stomach is preserved in a perfectly 
healthy and undepraved state, its organic sensibility enables 
it to detect and appreciate with the utmost accuracy, both 
the quality of the stimulus and the degree of stimulation; 
and consequently enables it to discriminate, with the same 
accuracy, between those substances which are best 
adapted to the vital interests of the system, and those 
which are pernicious or offensive, or even less adapted 
to the vital wants. — When the quality and quantity of the 
substance received into the stomach, are best adapted to 
the vital interests of the system, the stimulation of this 
organ is sympathetically diffused over the whole system 
(§297.) — and the whole organic domain, within us, 
rejoices under its healthful influence; and we have an 
animal and intellectual and moral consciousness, not of a 
local organic stimulation, but of a general buoyancy of 
spirits — a nd intellectual sprightliness and moral enjoy- 
ment; (§305.) — and when any pernicious, or offensive 
substance is introduced into the stomach, this orgnn in 
its integrity instantly detects its character, and if neces- 
sary for the security of the vital interests, promptly gives 
the alarm to the whole organic domain, and when requisite, 

534 graham's lectures on the 

causes a manifestation of strong symptoms, in the domain 
of animal life. (§ 300.) 

§ 738. But this special organic sense of the stomach, 
like the special animal sense of taste and smell, (§ 704. 
707.) may be exceedingly depraved, and even totally 
destroyed; so that the stomach may become not only 
wholly destitute of the power to perceive and appreciate 
the quality of the stimulus which acts upon it, and to 
discriminate between those substances which are salutary 
and those which are pernicious to the system, and thus 
be reduced to the mere ability to appreciate the degree 
of its stimulation, — but it may even be made to prefer 
those substances which are decidedly pernicious to the 
vital interests; because, in its depravity, it is so adapted 
to the stimulating properties of those substances, that it 
receives from them the most satisfactory degree of 

§739. But the stomach, as we have seen, (§298.) 
is too important an organ in the vital economy, and too 
directly and powerfully related to all the other organs of 
the system, to sink to this state of depravity alone. (§ 521 .) 
By direct sympathetic irritations and by the deterioration 
of functional results, the whole system is made to par- 
take of the depravity of the stomach; and in this state of 
things, substances of the most pernicious character, may 
be habitually thrown into the gastric cavity, and either 
rapidly or slowly destroy the constitutional powers of the 
system, and work out disease and death. (§ 458.) And 
because the stomach has no longer. any power to detect 
and appreciate the true character of those substances, 
and therefore has neither the disposition nor the power 
to give any alarm of danger to the organic domain, but 
remains quiet and even satisfied with their presence, while 
they are perpetrating their deeds of death, — we, as ani- 


mals and as intellectual and moral beings, remain wholly 
unconscious of this state of things, and earnestly contend 
for the safety of our habits and conditions, on the ground 
that our stomachs are satisfied with them, and therefore, 
our experience proves them to be good. — Moreover, in 
this general condition of the system, the stomach not only 
loses the power to discriminate between good and evil, 
and to give the proper alarm when the vital interests are 
in jeopardy, but it also, to a very great extent, loses the 
power of manifesting true and proper symptoms when it 
is itself actually diseased. And it is a most fearful fact, 
as we have seen, (§ 520.) that extensive disease may 
exist in the alimentary canal, and gradually increase for 
a long lime, and even terminate in death, without being 
manifested by any of those symptoms, which lead either 
the subject, or the physician to suspect it. — I have found 
in post mortem examinations, astonishingly extensive 
disease pervading the whole stomach and intestines, of a 
character which indicated a progress of many years; and 
yet the subject was not during life in the least sensible of 
its existence. 

§ 740. This deeply interesting fact has been consider- 
ed as wholly inexplicable, upon any known physiological 
or pathological principles: — and it is very certain that 
those principles which I have just stated, are the only 
ones which can afford a satisfactory and correct explana- 
tion of the phenomena in the case. While the system 
is in a pure state, and the organs are undepraved, the 
alimentary canal will always promptly detect the presence 
of any morbific or disturbing cause, and with perfect in- 
tegrity, exhibit the most distinct and unequivocal symp- 
toms of morbid conditions and affections, or functional 
derangements. But when the natural sensibilities and 
sympathies of the system, have been depraved and crip- 

536 Graham's lectures on the 

pled by habitual violations of the laws of constitution and 
relation, the alimentary canal is robbed of its power to 
appreciate discriminately the character of such causes, 
and to awaken such sympathetic manifestations as dis- 
tinctly indicate its disturbances and its diseases: — and 
therefore, like an individual who has been deprived of 
his eyes and tongue, it necessarily submits to the gradual 
and continual encroachments of depraving and diseasing 
causes, without the power to perceive or to tell what 
harms it, till the accumulation of wrongs becomes too 
great for vital endurance, and the general indignation of 
the system is roused into an acute disease, which either 
throws off the oppression, or the vital pow T ers sink under 
the conflict, and death ensues: — or else, the alimentary 
canal, or some other part more debilitated or morbidly 
predisposed, becomes the seat of slowly progressing lo- 
cal disease. When the lungs, liver or any other organ 
whose natural sensibilities are less depraved than those 
of the alimentary canal, becomes the seat of local, chronic 
disease, the symptoms of such disease are always less 
obscure and equivocal; — but when the stomach and intes- 
tinal canal become the seat of chronic disease, not in- 
duced by any one violent cause, but by the constant and 
long-continued irritations, almost universal in civic life, 
and indeed, throughout the human world, the depraved 
and crippled organ has no power to announce its diffi- 
culties, in distinct and unequivocal symptoms. 

§ 741. It is true that symptoms of disease somewhere 
within the vital domain, might be detected by an accu- 
rate observer; — but these are often so purely sympathetic 
and so remote from the real seat of the disease, and so 
ambiguous in their character, that it is impossible t